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Tilting at Windmills

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July 27, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT....This is about what you'd expect, but Democracy Corps has released yet another survey demonstrating that the Republican Party is losing young people in droves. Among 18-29 year olds, 50% have a favorable view of the Democratic Party compared to only 35% for the Republican Party. There are plenty of reasons for this, but basically they hate George Bush, they hate the Iraq war, and they hate religious conservatives.

The good news, of course, is that people are brand loyal. Once they make up their minds in their twenties which party they like better, they generally stick with it for the rest of their lives. So the Republican Party's deal with the devil to embrace the Christian Right might have helped them out for a while, but in the long term it's a disaster. Sic transit etc.

The full report is here.

Kevin Drum 1:56 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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Comments

Think how much worse it would be for the Republicans if the MSM did not consistently carry water for the Bush administration.

Posted by: MonkeyBoy on July 27, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Now that's some good news.

Posted by: Xanthippas on July 27, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Can we all be 18-29 again?

Posted by: Kenji on July 27, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

they hate George Bush, they hate the Iraq war, and they hate religious conservatives.

A holy trinity of hate is what's needed to fix America.

Posted by: Brojo on July 27, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

A holy trinity of hate is what's needed to fix America."

No, it isn't. But that is precisely Dubya's enduring legacy. Congrats!

Posted by: Kenji on July 27, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you single out the religious right? They disagree on a whole host of issues, but I would guess that the incompetence of George Bush doomed the Republicans more than anything else.

Posted by: DR on July 27, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

From the Chart:

Democrats are favored 60 - 27 on the Iraq war, but only 52 - 37 on "Sharing your values".

Posted by: DR on July 27, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Can we all be 18-29 again?

It's a state of mind. And now retired (I highly recommend retiring at 45) I have recaptured it. I know I have succeeded in my quest at chronological regression because my 20-something kids roll their eyes and tell me to grow up. (But my three-year-old granddaughter thinks I'm awesome!)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 27, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Where's Al. Isn't it time for his "pop-in" ?

Posted by: Tim on July 27, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking as a young person, I agree with this report. But, don't get too excited about its results. The democrats are still going to have to do more to keep people on their side. I used to be faithful to the democrats, but I see them as a bunch of punks now. They don't get anything done. I know about the Senate, but still. The Democrats need to be more active in forcing the right's hand and making fewer rhetorical statements like that monstrosity from Schumer yesterday. What was he or his writers thinking?

Posted by: Ace on July 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

It has to do with policies. The 18-29 year olds don't want to get drafted and are more sympathetic with the Dems. The 30-somethings (early 40's too) are the core of the Bush league IMO-they don't have to worry about a draft and they aren't old enough to worry about getting sick-so they don't give a shit about healthcare reform.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on July 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, how do I send a trackback? Actually I'm not even sure Scoop supports standard trackback functionality, but I thought there was a way to do it manually or via some service.

http://www.thedailyliberty.com/story/2007/7/27/14159/3855

Also "Remember personal info?" never works for me. I get all sorts of cookies from all over the place so I don't think that's the issue.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Wait till Jonah Lucianne's magnum opus comes out to prove beyond doubt that Democrats are fascists. The book will contain thoughts which have been most seriously thought since Jonah wrote his book reports in the eighth grade. Its references to Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan and Transformers and Star Wars and other pop culture icons will sway the young people completely to the other side.

Posted by: gregor on July 27, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Can we all be 18-29 again?

BG's right, of course. Even if one can't, at the moment, retire. I remember when it was funny to say "I hope I die before I get old." Now I have to qualify it as "before I get old...in spirit"

More later, the hard drive is running low on coal and I gotta go get the horses shod.

Posted by: thersites on July 27, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Why do you single out the religious right?

This is somewhat anecdotal, but I've seen a lot of pretty convincing evidence that young Evangelical Christians (among which I suppose I number myself) are increasingly unwilling to adopt the whole Religious Right slate of priorities. One huge issue showing this trend is environmentalism. I suppose another is the Iraq war and fealty to the George W. Bush administration in general.

At any rate, I think the growth of young Evangelicals who are theologically conservative, even, but politically less beholden to the GOP has got to be a good thing. And I'm not even a Democrat....

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Ace on July 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ace, too bad the media as well as very serious thinkers on blogs like this will tell you that you only have two options. If you don't like either one, well, too damn bad.

In reality, unless you live in a swing state, I can't see any argument for failing to vote your conscience anyway. I would be sympathetic to someone in Ohio or Florida who says the GOP is so bad that they had to hold their nose and vote Dem, but not so much to someone in Vermont or Utah.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

"I've seen a lot of pretty convincing evidence that young Evangelical Christians (among which I suppose I number myself) are increasingly unwilling to adopt the whole Religious Right slate of priorities." (Equal Opportunity Cynic)

What took you so long?

Posted by: wileycat on July 27, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Why would we expect anything to be different? The Republicans gained power while things were going well for large sections of the population. Incomes were rising, emplpoyment fairly full and still lots of good jobs for the educated.

The Republicans use a successful economy to sew their seeds. Taxes are too high, those on government programs are lazy losers, unrestrained capitalism will make you rich, minorities and foreigners are stealing your legacy and most people need to be self-reliant.

Ever notice how quickly their enthusiasim diminishes as they observe what the Republican party actually offers. The Republicans are the party of special interests. They believe in the survival of the well-connected. The Republicans believe that their base is to be manipulated and serve as canon fodder for their own greedy ambitions. The Republicans concept of self-reliance is based upon the following belief: "You are on your F___ing own. I will do unto you before you ever have a chance to do unto me."

The young tend to be idealistic. They see that they are being given a raw deal. They understand that there is an unfair balance between the wealthy and corporations versus the common man. They also know that cooperation and pooling of effort produces results in appropriate areas.

Posted by: JMOHR on July 27, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Equal Opportunity Cynic - what browser are you using? (When I use a campus computer my personal info doesn't save, but when I use Firefox on my home system, no worries.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 27, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

My problem with these kind of surveys is that they're meaningless unless they compare the support of Democrats among young adults to what it was ten or twenty or thirty years ago. We know that young folks are on average more supportive of the Democratic perspective and have been for decades. There are many different explanations for this, not all of them complimentary to the Dems. (And reliance upon youth is foolhardy at the polls.) The question is, are young folks EVEN MORE supportive of the Dems than they were before Bush? If they are, which they may be but I haven't seen any evidence for this, then we may see the sort of cohort effect (based on persistence of partisan identification throughout one's life) that we saw in response to the New Deal. Otherwise, don't get too excited, folks.

Posted by: Micah on July 27, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS,

Firefox 2.0.0.5. Interesting point, though, I'll try in MSIE next time.

Also i have a PHPSESSID cookie from washingtonmonthly.com, which is interesting since I didn't think anything on the site required sessions, but I could be wrong or it could just be something that this blogging platform does by default.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

All those who commit to short term 'win today at all costs' strategies while sacrificing the long term strategies end up, in the final analysis, in the same place: disappointment and failure. What you always want is sustainability when you are after lasting effects. A short term strategy is appropriate for a short term emergency--use a plank to cross the abyss to escape the raging fire. Use a floating crate as a life preserver when the ship goes down with too few lifeboats. But if you design a life preserver in the shape of a crate, don't be surprised if it proves inadequate in the long haul. The Republicans made a deal with the Devil, and he took their soul in the process.

Posted by: c4logic on July 27, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: wileycat on July 27, 2007 at 2:31 PM


What took you so long [to abandon the Religious Right]?

Well, I don't know if you're asking because you care about my individual experience but I'll share it anyway. My case is a little different in that I've always been more libertarian than what's now called conservative. I've actually never voted for anyone but Libertarians for President, starting in 1992.

But I used to feel a good deal more affinity for the GOP. The Bush Administration going so totally off its rocker is what finally pushed me to being a Democratic-leaning Libertarian. I had my misgivings with the Patriot Act, and with the way war critics were drowned out -- for that matter with Congress's refusal to go through the Constitutional process of declaring war. But in 2004, when the Marines' bodies were dragged through the streets of Fallujah (?), it became clear to me that nothing we'd been sold about this war was true. Consequently, the more I investigated, the more I saw that my assumptions of good faith on the part of the Bush Administration were unwarranted.

So I was off the wagon well before the '04 election. I wouldn't claim that my experience is typical even of young Evangelicals, although perhaps not so atypical as one might believe.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

The Americans killed in Fallujah were Blackwater mercenaries, not Marines.

Posted by: Brojo on July 27, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

BG and EOC, I can't get WM to remember personal info, and I'm on the latest Firefox. Any suggestions?

Posted by: Kenji on July 27, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

The democrats are still going to have to do more to keep people on their side. - Ace

Very good point, Ace.

The younger generation does not necessarily hold brand loyalty to political parties. They've been trained from young baby-hood that their employees will not be loyal to them, their favorite sport team will leave their city for a couple million bucks, etc., etc.

Why should their political party be any different? Methinks the Democratic party needs to be working to gain supporters, and continue to work to hold supporters. The social compacts of past generations no longer apply. As soon as the Democrats rest on their laurels they'll be thrown out again.

Posted by: Wapiti on July 27, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

When the soldiers were killed and drug through the streets, burned and mutilated, the conflict was in Somalia.

Which, incidentally, is about the time I started screaming at the top of my lungs about sending G.I.'s into hostilities in jeeps (hummers are utility vehicles.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on July 27, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

meant to say employers, not employees, above.

Posted by: Wapiti on July 27, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo,

Apologies, I knew I was getting the details wrong. And now that you say that, yes, I recall that they were Blackwater contractors. Regardless, Iraq had been simmering away from my awareness for several months after the invasion and "Mission Accomplished", and that incident served as a stark reminder that very little we'd been told had been true.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

The Americans killed in Fallujah were Blackwater mercenaries, not Marines.

Posted by: Brojo on July 27, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

So what? All former SEALS and Rangers. And each infinately smarter than you, who voted for Ralph Nader, and helped make the whole ball of wax possible. Idiot.

Posted by: Steve on July 27, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

And each infinately smarter than you, who voted for Ralph Nader, and helped make the whole ball of wax possible. Idiot.

Ah, so you know Brojo well enough to know that he or she voted in a swing state in 2000. Just out of curiosity, which state was it? And unless that state is Florida, why exactly do you think that a couple hundred votes one way or the other in that state would have swung the election?

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, but that doesn't help me with the cookie problem.

Posted by: Kenji on July 27, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I think several comments have hit it on the head when they question the viability of brand loyalty. There are a lot of reasons why brand loyalty can take hold including reading blogs like this one instead of blogs by conservatives. Nevertheless, sea shifts occur and plainly one happened with Reagan's election. Why? It was not that Reagan had great policies, he didn't and he was a racist crook, he just couldn't remember that he was a racist crook and had an endearing smile. Still he won landslides and permantly shifted a huge chunk of Democratic voters to the GOP despite"brand loyalty". The reason was the general ineptitude of Jimmy Carter. Compared to Carter, Reagan seemed great even if he was mediocre at best. That is the real opportunity the Democrats have been handed by Dumbya. If we can elect an even moderatly competent Democrat we can actually switch party affiliation for a couple of decades. as to the young, I think it was Churchill who said that "A young man who is not a socialist has no heart. An old man who is not a conservative has no brain." We all skew more conservative as we age. Finally for those evangelicals who are disenchanted with the GOP, how about the idea that torture, oppressing the weak, lying, stealing, making wars of convenience, racism, pedophilia, transferring wealth from the poor to the rich etc are very unChristian? Until those on the "religious" right stand for Christ like values, I think it is a misnomer to use religious as an adjective. Fundamentalist, reactionary, hard, mean, etc would all be better adjectives.

Posted by: Terry on July 27, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

"The Americans killed in Fallujah were Blackwater mercenaries, not Marines.

Posted by: Brojo on July 27, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

So what?"

So details like that are important. The general thrust of the incident isn't changed all that much, but the fact that those men were corporate mercenaries working for a company which has basically just sprung into existence is important to the general reality of shrub's war and his governance in general.

The inadequacy of us government preparation, the fact that blackwater's sudden ascension owes far more to republican connections in its ownership than capability to do what they were hired to do, the holding down the official number of US troops in iraq and killed by hiring mercenaries, the unaccountability of mercenaries, the propaganda machine which attempts to blur or make bright the line between mercenaries and soldiers when convenient.

Posted by: jefff on July 27, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pleased to see these statistics, but hate is a strong word, one that is not borne out by the questions (if one of the survey questions had been "do you hate religious conservatives," that would be different.

I lost my sister recently...a rabid Republican, but I loved her, of course.

At the memorial service, delivering the eulogy, her husband described her as "hating all liberals". I'm a liberal. She didn't hate me.

So...disagree with, yes. Hate, let's give that one a rest.

Posted by: Noam Sane on July 27, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, so you know Brojo well enough to know that he or she voted in a swing state in 2000. Just out of curiosity, which state was it? And unless that state is Florida, why exactly do you think that a couple hundred votes one way or the other in that state would have swung the election?

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for asking! Yes. I, and everyone else who reads this Blog regularly, knows Brojo. And yes, he is a total sanctimonious jackass, who (when he is not boo-hooing about how his Dad repeatedly cheated on his Mom with several members of their church congregation) regularly argues --- despite the last term and a half of George W. Bush --- that there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. He thinks his vote for Nader absolved him of repsonsiblity and places him above those who actually participate in the political process. On the contrary, however, it makes him partially repsonsible for all that has happened and is a lasting testament to his stupidy. Thanks for allowing me to make the point!

Posted by: Steve on July 27, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and by the way, to answer your clever, clever question: Brojo is in Arizona. Nader won 45,645 votes, or about 3 percent, in Arizona in the 2000 election. Bush won by 51 percent. Any other questions I can help you with?

Posted by: Steve on July 27, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I don't accept these "polls" any more (been quite a while since I ever did accept them) unless I can see the questions used and the how the pollees were selected.
In my case, Momma was a staunch Republican. I was too.
Then I went to a bleeding heart Midwest Uni and became a Democrat.
Then I went to Korea and became an independent. Then I decided I wanted to vote in primaries, so joined up again with the Republicans.
In the last few years I became a Democrat. (See Dubya about that.)
Learned one thing, 'though - the parties are the same. Give 'em enough money and they'll see to it you can work for a government.

Posted by: Catmoves on July 27, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah. Why does Brojo get 15k votes?

But at least I can accept the legitimacy of a "wasted vote" argument in a state like Arizona. What gets me is all the people in safe states who are convinced that they have to vote for the lesser of two evils because they don't understand the Electoral College.

Posted by: Equal Opportunity Cynic on July 27, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

I think the American Communist Party is the political party with a real future, after the meltdown of the glorious American "free market", which is inevitable, given the trillions in debt rung up by Republicans.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 27, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

I forget who said it, but the old saw goes: Someone who isn't a socialist as 20 has no heart. Someone who is still a socialist at 40 has no head.

Posted by: theAmericanist on July 27, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist, the problem is that it doesn't work like that. Generation X, who leans Republican now that they're middle aged, also leaned Republican when they were young.

Basically, people's impressions of the parties get solidified based on their experiences in their 20s. We should thank Bush for handing generation Y over to the Democrats.

Posted by: Tyro on July 27, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

And Hillary could throw it all way with her video game crusade, thats if she is the nominee.

Posted by: Jonesy on July 27, 2007 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

I corrected the mistake Marines were desecrated in Fallujah because Marines serving in Iraq are at least fulfilling an obligation they made to their country, whether I agree with that service or not. The Blackwater mercenaries have no equivalent justifiable reason for their service.

It is an honor having my own personal unholy trinity of haters, but I think it should be noted that even if all AZ Nader voters had supported the rock/rap lyricist censor Gore, W. Bush would still have won the popular vote in AZ and received all of its electoral votes.

Bush - 781,652
Gore - 685,341
Nader - 45,645

Regardless of what happened in the past, it is refreshing to know young people are paying attention. I think the reason they are not raising hell about the occupation of Iraq is that they are too busy working. During the Viet Nam War era, young people had a lot more free money, like grants, and education was much less expensive, so they had more free time to protest and obstruct the war. I think Democrats could advocate for more free money for education and win even more support from this demographic.

All that low cost and subsidized education of the Sixties and Seventies really paid off in the Nineties, too.

Posted by: Brojo on July 27, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

I will do unto you before you ever have a chance to do unto me."

You've described the Republican golden rule.

Posted by: AnotherBruce on July 27, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you Brojo for debunking that. It seems that some Democrats have their own Dolchstosslegende about the 2000 election.

They seem to forget that Gore managed to lose his home state and Arkansas, states he and Clinton won twice before.


And that cannot be pinned on Nader voters.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on July 27, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

'Someone who isn't a socialist as 20 has no heart. Someone who is still a socialist at 40 has no head.'

I believe that was said by the ultimate conservative role model - Duke Cunningham. a/k/a Inmate #983023

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 27, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Followup to Equal Opportunity Cynic:

Please don't take this reply to be directed personally at you -- there's plenty enough incivility on this forum -- from all directions -- without my adding to it. (That's the main reason I'm such an infrequent contributor. I believe that however much I may disagree with someone else's opinion, they are at least entitled to respect and a civil reponse. This doesn't seem to be the common approach here.)

My question to you: "What took you so long?" was my general observation of a puzzling phenomenon. The shortcomings of our current president and his advisers was apparent to me and many others almost instantly after his last great rallying moment, through a bullhorn atop the 911 ruins. It became clear that denial, and reliance on bad advice from others, was to be his only mode.

I'm not a psychologist, nor a particularly astute student of human behavior. But the ineptitude of the president, and the manipulation of him for -- let's say it -- evil purposes, was as clear to me, and many others, as the sunset.

Why did it take so many people so long to see this?

Why, at long last, does about 25% of America STILL not see it?

It's truly difficult for me to comprehend such denial in the face of compelling evidence.

The Religious Right -- whatever that may be -- seems particularly in denial. Does profound faith and belief in God remove one from responsibility for the tragedy this administration has created?

Again, this is not a personal attack or criticism. You've touched on what I think is the crux of our problem as a society and nation.

I'm sincere and, I hope respectful.

Please, everyone, curb the flaming....

Posted by: wileycat on July 27, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Sic transit gloria....

Gloria got taken ill on the subway?

Posted by: jprichva on July 27, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Cynic uses a telling phrase: "my assumption of good faith..."

Intellectual conservatives (think George Will or the National Review crowd, folks whose political identity is cerebral) like to say that conservatives understand that human nature is flawed so idealism is a failed approach to governance: try to do good things with government, and you wind up with Stalin.

Intellectual progressives (think, well, most folks posting here) like to say that Bush's failures with Katrina, for example, prove that Bush's incompetence is deliberate, to show government can't do ANYTHING right and thus, we ought to privative it all.

But most folks aren't intellectual about their political identities.

Put it this way: which party's nominee is likely to say to the electorate, "I'm not asking you to trust me..." ?

And would that help 'em win?

Posted by: theAmericanist on July 28, 2007 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

I am a prep school teacher and every year I do a political attitude survey of my students (I've been teaching 15 years, so it's a nice data pool). We use the data for class activities and such. Even when you account for the fact that I teach in central NJ, a pretty blue state, the trend in the last few years is striking. For example, last year, with an N of 32 (one-third of our Senior class), my data revealed only 2 self-identified Republicans. And on the issues, there was a marked trend toward the left, with a strong impulse to protect individual liberties.

Posted by: Stact on July 28, 2007 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

People are not taking the report to its natural conclusions. The changes in 20 somethings is as much due to demographic changes in the U.S. Given these changes, there will come a time very soon when the Republicans stand no chance of winning national or even most state wide elections. When that happens, the Repubican party has to collapse.

Thus, the U.S. is headed to becoming a one party state. The question should be is what will the U.S. be like as a one party state.

Posted by: superdestroyer on July 29, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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