Millennials, Now at 50%

 

Young people love Obama, right?

Not so fast. From the WSJ:

While support for Democratic candidates among African-Americans and Latinos remains high, young people are less enthusiastic. The Pew center’s in-depth surveys of those ages 18-34 indicate that this generation, a voting bloc so important to Mr. Obama’s two victories, is growing more disillusioned with the president. Millennial self-identification as Democrats has edged down to 50% from a high of 58% in 2009. Pew also found Mr. Obama’s job approval among millennials has fallen to 49% in early 2014, down from 70% in the honeymoon months of 2009, his highest rating among any generation.

I’m sure a lot of this has to do with Obamacare — its pathetic rollout and the “you can keep your doctor” lie. Some of it, surely, is a general disaffection with the government behemoth — the surveillance state, the regulatory state, crony capitalism. What we can call the “Rand Paul Perspective.”

But isn’t some of it cultural, too? In a world of Facebook and smartphones and individualized, powerful technology that works — to communicate, track progress, take care of yourself, connect with others, entertain yourself, etc. — the progressive left’s answer to America’s problems seems so weirdly retro. Big government agencies. Complicated bureaucratic formulae. Lack of choice.

The progressive left must seem so old and out of touch to folks under, say, 27.

Of course, if you look at the way kids are dressing these days — the hipster outfits, the return to “heritage brands” — they seem to be consciously returning to a look that evokes New Deal progressivism and early 1960s liberalism. And we all know how those unfortunate movements turned out.

Still: as I’ve said before, young voters are winnable. They won’t, probably, ever be 75% conservative, but they’re already 50% conservative. A little nudge in a rightward direction can change a lot of things for the better.

There are 12 comments.

  1. Mark Wilson Member

    Rob Long: they’re already 50% conservative

    Rob, what is this statement based on? The fact that Obama’s approval is 50%? I’m sorry to say that for millennials disapproval of Obama more often than not means he is not liberal enough on social issues, or he hasn’t pulled our military out of enough countries. It’s the disappointment of unmet (unrealistic) expectation, rather than a reaction in the other direction.

    • #1
    • March 31, 2014, at 2:08 PM PDT
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  2. Randy Weivoda Moderator

    Just because 50% of millennials identify as Democratic doesn’t mean the other 50% are Republican. There are probably a heck of a lot of them that have no party affiliation and don’t vote at all. I hope you’re right, Rob, that millennials are turning away from big government, but the WSJ article doesn’t say what the other 50% stand for.

    • #2
    • March 31, 2014, at 3:50 PM PDT
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  3. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    Not long ago, I spoke at length with a beautiful, engaging 32 year-old African-American woman from Detroit. She is part of a program to reach out to minority voters who are tired of getting kicked in the pants by this administration. She told me that people over 50 are a lost cause, but Millennials are sick and tired of lousy opportunities, broken promises and little choice in their daily lives. She said that Republicans are beginning to get real traction in these communities.

    • #3
    • March 31, 2014, at 5:05 PM PDT
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  4. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chri… Coolidge

    I wonder if some of this approval movement is the cohort aging up and out. There’s less enthusiasm for someone looking to vote for the first black president, because it’s been done already. It’s less hip to the jive, man. After a while in office, too, everybody starts looking old, and the pathetic hipster outreach Barry’s been affecting (Between Two Dorks) is exactly the kind of insipid effort that should repel any thinking hipster under 25.

    It’s like the 40 year old who strolls into a college bar and starts chatting up the ladies. This man screams embarrassment, and he doesn’t even know it.

    • #4
    • March 31, 2014, at 5:36 PM PDT
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  5. Profile Photo Member

    6foot2inhighheels:
    Not long ago, I spoke at length with a beautiful, engaging 32 year-old African-American woman from Detroit. She is part of a program to reach out to minority voters who are tired of getting kicked in the pants by this administration. She told me that people over 50 are a lost cause, but Millennials are sick and tired of lousy opportunities, broken promises and little choice in their daily lives. She said that Republicans are beginning to get real traction in these communities.

     Oh, if I only had a nickel for every time I have heard something like this since the 1990’s…!

    • #5
    • March 31, 2014, at 7:13 PM PDT
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  6. Jack Richman Member

    Rob, you should know more than most that timing is everything!

    • #6
    • March 31, 2014, at 8:40 PM PDT
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  7. JimGoneWild Coolidge

    We should be selling liberty and freedom like a caffeine laced energy drink. Show the younger crowd how being an individual on a snowboard or mountain bike applies to all of life. Show them what a little money can do–if only the government would telling us what to do.

    • #7
    • March 31, 2014, at 9:25 PM PDT
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  8. Joseph Stanko Member

    Mark Wilson: I’m sorry to say that for millennials disapproval of Obama more often than not means he is not liberal enough on social issues, or he hasn’t pulled our military out of enough countries. It’s the disappointment of unmet (unrealistic) expectation, rather than a reaction in the other direction.

     Yes, this, exactly. Liberals here in the Bay Area have been disappointed with Obama for years. They’re disappointed that he didn’t keep his promise to close Gitmo, that he didn’t withdraw from Afghanistan in his first year in office, and that he hasn’t passed immigration reform yet.
    They’re disappointed in Obamacare, but not for the reasons we are. Yes they think the website roll out was an embarrassment, but they still assume it can be fixed. No, the reason they are disappointed with Obamacare is because they wanted, and still want, single payer. Anything less is a disappointing betrayal and a sell-out.

    • #8
    • March 31, 2014, at 10:54 PM PDT
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  9. Mike H Coolidge

    We should stomp down this happy “look things are starting to go our way” talk immediately. Enough of this using hope to try to push us over the line. I don’t want to end up feeling like November 2012, ever again. Best case scenario is we win the Senate this year, because it’s an off year, and Democrats have been in power for a while now. It will say nothing of Republicans in general, so don’t bother building narratives around predictable statistical noise.

    2016 is going to be hard, no matter what happens this year. The Democrats will most likely have found a way to mostly neutralize the Obamacare yoke by then and moved on to some other wedge.

    The election results are going to be based mostly on luck and somewhat on quality of candidates. Most people (even most Republicans) are reflexively Social Democratic on a lot of issues, “Oh, somethings happening that shouldn’t be or that sounds bad? What can the government do to help or stop it?” This is why democracy leads to ever more government, and it’s fantasy to believe it will change, even if Millennials moved slightly in our favor.

    • #9
    • April 1, 2014, at 5:52 AM PDT
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  10. AR Inactive
    AR

    Mike H:
    We should stomp down this happy “look things are starting to go our way” talk immediately. Enough of this using hope to try to push us over the line. I don’t want to end up feeling like November 2012, ever again…It will say nothing of Republicans in general, so don’t bother building narratives around predictable statistical noise.
    2016 is going to be hard, no matter what happens this year. The Democrats will most likely have found a way to mostly neutralize the Obamacare yoke…
    The election results are going to be based mostly on luck and somewhat on quality of candidates. Most people (even most Republicans) are reflexively Social Democratic on a lot of issues, “Oh, somethings happening that shouldn’t be or that sounds bad? What can the government do to help or stop it?” This is why democracy leads to ever more government, and it’s fantasy to believe it will change, even if Millennials moved slightly in our favor.

     My thoughts exactly. We are in a painful and untenable position. The future is murky but I can see enough of it to know it’s not going to end well.

    • #10
    • April 1, 2014, at 8:38 AM PDT
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  11. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    Let’s look at what’s changed since the 1990’s in Michigan, shall we? Conservative outreach into urban areas was not enough to keep Jennifer Granholm out of office, but it was enough to put a Republican in her place after the economy crashed. In addition, despite Democrat influence in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, we were able to ease concealed carry law, and make home schools legal, (which led directly to uncapping the charter school limits, making Michigan a state with true educational choice). In December, 2012, the unions got slapped down by legislators who passed an astounding worker freedom act- you don’t have to join a union to work here anymore. All these changes were considered too radically conservative in 1990, but we’ve been applying steady pressure and planting seeds for 20 years.

    • #11
    • April 3, 2014, at 2:01 PM PDT
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  12. MJL Inactive
    MJL

    Might be that disinterest and/or disillusionment = predictable blowback of rushing to engage young people in an old man’s ideology to win an election.

    • #12
    • April 5, 2014, at 11:07 PM PDT
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