Tuesday, September 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Charles Blow: The split of the ages

CharlesBlowW

By
From page A6 | April 03, 2014 |

Older voters and younger voters used to be largely on the same page when they went to the polls. No more.

Gallup released two reports about the split last week. The first was called “U.S. Seniors Have Realigned With the Republican Party,” and the second was “Young Americans’ Affinity for Democratic Party Has Grown.”

The numbers were striking. Until the age of Obama, Democrats had an ideological leg up among Americans 65 and older. Then those voters shifted to give the Republicans an advantage. That advantage has held, although it’s shrinking.

On the other end of the spectrum, Republicans haven’t held an ideological advantage among Americans ages 18-29 since 1995. But for a decade, the Republican deficit was always 13 points or less. That changed in 2006 when the Democrats won control of the House and the Senate and a majority of governorships and state legislatures. This was, in part, due to George W. Bush’s sinking poll numbers and rising opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and, particularly, in Iraq. The Democratic advantage among young people since then has been 13 points or more.

The last time a Republican won the 18- to 29-year-old vote in a presidential election was 1988, when 52 percent voted for George H.W. Bush over Democrat Michael Dukakis, who carried only 10 states and the District of Columbia.

Since pollsters began compiling records of voting by age, the only time that Republicans have won the 18- to 29-year-old vote nationwide in the races for the House of Representatives was in 1994, during the “Republican Revolution.” That year, armed with their “Contract With America,” Republicans took control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

Coincidentally, 1994 was also the year that the percentage of the vote for Republicans was exactly the same among voters ages 18-29 and among voters 60 and older: 51 percent. In fact, until relatively recently, it was not uncommon for the voting of young and elderly Americans to look virtually identical.

Part of the reason for the Democratic swing among young people is the incredible diversity of the group. Gallup estimates that 45 percent of Americans 18-29 are nonwhite. But that doesn’t account for all of the change. As Gallup put it:

“Young adults are not more Democratic solely because they are more racially diverse. In recent years, young white adults, who previously aligned more with the Republican Party, have shifted Democratic. From 1995 to 2005, young whites consistently identified as or leaned Republican rather than Democratic, by an average of 8 points. Since 2006, whites aged 18 to 29 have shown at least a slight Democratic preference in all but one year, with an average advantage of 3 points.”

This should come as welcome news to Democrats and as another reason for fear among Republicans.

Furthermore, since 2004 in presidential elections, young Americans’ share of the vote has inched up as older Americans’ share has fallen. Still, the diversity target is easy and tempting, so Republicans are aggressively pushing voter ID laws. As Politico reported last year, according to a recent study:

“Significantly more minority youths age 18-29 were asked to show identification than white youths: 72.9 percent of black youths were asked for ID, compared with 60.8 percent of Latino youths and 50.8 percent of white youths. Even in states where there are no voter ID laws on the books, 65.5 percent of black youths were asked to show ID at the polls, compared with 55.3 percent of Latino youths and 42.8 percent of white youths.”

Racial bias — sometimes subtle, always sinister — is alive and well.

This is also the reason there is so much conservative resistance to comprehensive immigration reform.

According to a 2011 Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project report, most of the growth in the U.S. population from 2000 to 2010 was due to Hispanics.

The report found:

“Since 2000, nearly 6 million more Latinos have become eligible to vote. The bulk of this growth was attributable to the 5 million U.S.-born Latino youths nationwide who turned 18 during this past decade. That translates into an additional half-million U.S.-born Latinos coming of age each year — a pattern that is certain to persist, and grow, in the coming decades.”

The wave of demographic change and the liberal leaning of the young can’t be held back indefinitely through obstruction and aggression. A change is coming, and it’s blue.

— The New York Times

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    UC joins U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Nature’s beauty is in our own back yard

    By Charlotte Orr | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Jury finds Dixon man guilty of mortgage fraud

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
     
    U.S., Arab allies hit Islamists in Syria, Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Bob Dunning: These are the tanks we get

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Wind threatens firefighting effort

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Harmony Award nominations sought

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Unscheduled landing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Free community yard sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Street Food Rodeo rolls into West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Wolk kicks off ‘Morning with the Mayor’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    So you want to be an entomologist?

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

    Sheriff’s Office honored for safe-driving initiative

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Baha’is celebrate 50th anniversary in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Downtown gift cards get a new perk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Applications open for Biberstein grants

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Brother’s drinking out of control

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Daughter has her own opinions

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    We must not stand for perpetual war

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Don’t cut all the trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A great Day in the Country

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Donors support school matinees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A big Explorit thanks!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Teacher tenure becomes key campaign issue

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Running game powered Devils in first football win

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis field hockey team rights ship at Lassen

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Devil golfers soar past Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devils bounce back against Pleasant Grove

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women reach finals of East/West golf tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    U11s get a win in an eventful weekend of youth football

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    A’s support Samardzija in a win over Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Carol L. Walsh

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7