Author Topic: Millennial Madness: What Happens If Young Voters Bolt Both Parties? By Ron Fournier  (Read 350 times)

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http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/millennial-madness-what-happens-if-young-voters-bolt-both-parties-20140324

Millennial Madness: What Happens If Young Voters Bolt Both Parties?
New study shows choosiest voters itching to disrupt two-party system.


By Ron Fournier

 

March 24, 2014

When I was the age my kids are now, television networks offered three, barely distinguishable choices. Including Internet video, my kids' options are almost infinite. I walked to a library. My kids download books. I owned a few dozen cassette tapes. Their iPods stream thousands of songs.

A quarter-century ago, editors decided what news I read. My kids are their own editors and publishers. My kids are Millennials, raised in an era of rapid change and boundless amounts of information, choice and customization. Born roughly between 1981 and 2000, the Millennial Generation's life experiences will shape where they live, how they work, what products they buy, how they worship and, of course, how they vote.

My generation had just two options politically – Democrats or Republicans, and that made sense to us. To my kids' generation, binary choices are absurd, especially when the choices are bad, which is why the two major parties are in danger of losing the future.

In a must-read study, political scientist Michelle Diggles of the moderate Democratic think tank Third Way, created a sociological profile of the Millennial Generation and projected how those attitudes might affect U.S. politics when young voters age and dominate.

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Millennials have come of age in a period of increasing availability of information and expansive customization of goods and services. Their experiences have led them to an `a la carte worldview, including in politics. They may be voting for Democrats in wider margins than Republicans, but there's no indication that they have bought the "prix fixe" menu of policy options historically offered by the Democratic Party, nor that brand loyalty to the Party will cement them as Democrats forever. Yet while Republican claims that these voters are winnable in future elections are plausible, they, too, have been asking younger voters to agree to a multi-course tasting menu with limited options. Millennials are pragmatic – they want to know what works and are willing to take ideas from each side. They eschew ideological purity tests of the past. In short, they are winnable by both parties, if only policymakers understood and reflected their values.


What Diggles has done is virtually unheard of in politics today: She set aside her ideological preferences and preconceived notions to ruthlessly assess attitudinal data in a political vacuum. Unlike many in Washington who seem to believe that social changes start with politics, Diggles knows the reverse is true: A fast-changing populace, driven by a hard-to-peg rising generation, will change politics in ways we can't fully fathom.

For instance, a rule of thumb in Washington is that when a voter sides with a party in her first couple of elections, she's likely to stick with that party for years. Historically, that axiom is measurably true. But, wait, says Diggles:

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    Much to the chagrin of many in marketing, Millennials are much more willing than previous generations to switch even from their most favored brands if they can bet a better deal or more of the features they want. Millennials don't feel limited by brand loyalty – true in the marketplace of goods and services as well as politics.

    "The ability to customize their soda, or shoes, or even their entertainment experience means that Millennials want to have real input into the design process. They expect brands to genuinely engage with consumers and won't be satisfied with simply being ignored or having someone sell them a pre-made product. Living in an 'a la carte world with unlimited options, Millennials don't feel they have to choose between two limited choices. If they don't like a product, think the price is too high, or don't agree with the company's role in society, they are likely to switch brands. Conversely, Millennials may reward good companies with a 'buycott' …


In politics, Millennials rewarded President Obama in 2008 because they liked what he was selling. But he quickly damaged his post-partisan brand, and young voters drifted away in 2012. Going forward, Diggles says her beloved Democratic Party can't take Millennials for granted. This is a choosy bunch, a generation of disruption.

After establishing a sociological profile, Diggles pulls together a variety of polling (including surveys I wrote about here and here) to show how young voter attitudes are already defying conventional politics.

    Since Obama's election, the number of self-identified independents among the Millennial Generation has increased by 11 points, nearly twice the pace of all other generations. "They aren't satisfied with either side," she says.

    More than other generations, they believe government can play a positive role in people's lives. That could be good news for Democrats, but think of the events that have shaken Millennials' faith in government: Iraq, Katrina, the financial crisis, and the Affordable Care Act rollout. More than half of young voters think something run by the government is usually inefficient, up 9 points since 2009. The percentage of Millennials who "trust the government to do what's right" all or most of the time fell from 44 percent in 2004 to 29 percent in 2013.

    They're skeptical of big institutions, including corporations and churches. In a warning to Democrats, Diggles writes, "Millennial voters are unlikely to align with a political party that expects blind faith in large institutions – either governmental or nongovernmental."

    They are socially tolerant, which raises severe problems for the GOP.

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However, both parties should caution against stereotyping Millennials as liberals or libertarians on social issues by extrapolating their support for a broad gay equality agenda or marijuana legalization. Republicans may be able to revitalize their connection to Millennials voters by softening their language around immigration, gay and lesbian people, and single mothers, without compromising their positions on core issues to the party, such as abortion. If the GOP can meld some more libertarian views with religious ones and advocate for smaller, more effective government rather than no government, they may have a chance to close the margin with Millennials. Short of these steps, though, it is hard to see how Republicans will gain significant ground with this modern generation in the near term.


Looking at the future of U.S. politics through the prism of Millennials' attitudes today, you'd much prefer the Democratic Party's problems over the GOP's. But the safest best is against both parties – at least as they're currently aligned against modernity. Millennials, Diggles concludes, "have the potential to shake up American politics as we know it – and both parties must reassess their message to appeal to them."

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Offline Gazoo

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Most college aged kids are going for Rand Paul but seem to understand the significance of the democratic party being full of lies. I don't think they will fall for Hillary's change. I also don't think they will stay home as they don't want the debt burden on them.
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

Offline olde north church

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After watching Mr. Fournier on "Special Report's" panel a couple of times, I have come to the conclusion he's an asshat.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline truth_seeker

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Most college aged kids are going for Rand Paul but seem to understand the significance of the democratic party being full of lies. I don't think they will fall for Hillary's change. I also don't think they will stay home as they don't want the debt burden on them.
Do you have a source, for the claim (opinion, feeling?) that "most" college aged kids are going for Rand Paul?

I think they supported Obama in 2012.
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Offline Oceander

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Whether younger voters are going for Rand Paul or not now, it seems to me that Rand Paul has the best nose of the bunch for figuring out how to attract them to the GOP.  That may be another good reason to run him as the nominee in 2016.

Offline Gazoo

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My source is 3 of my kids. One just graduated college the other started med school.
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

Offline Gazoo

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I believe in 2008 a lot in college went for Obama for a buck and a free laptop.  There were witnesses that said McCain/Palin signs were being taken down at polling places near or within a college. No one knew what the hell was going on. They had ads in the local paper way ahead of the election from moveon.org paying people to drive people/ round-up people to vote. And that year straight party tickets and 3 week voting suddenly were a way of life.

"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

Offline truth_seeker

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My source is 3 of my kids. One just graduated college the other started med school.

Here is a summary about "sample size" in statistics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_size_determination
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Offline Gazoo

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Here is a summary about "sample size" in statistics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_size_determination


I was waiting for that link. Thank-you so much.

It says, my sons said, that  A LOT of kids at their college a few years ago; all were diehard Ron Paul and now Rand Paul supporters.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 03:55:10 PM by Gazoo »
"The Tea Party has a right to feel cheated.

When does the Republican Party, put in the majority by the Tea Party, plan to honor its commitment to halt the growth of the Federal monolith and bring the budget back into balance"?

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Having gone to college not too long ago-- and admittedly, it was a relatively conservative student body-- I can say that there is a pretty large Paulite contingent in my age group. Most of them are white, however, and that doesn't bode well against the Democrats' plan to breed their own voters into a majority.
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Offline Oceander

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Here is a summary about "sample size" in statistics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sample_size_determination


get up on the wrong side of the bed today?

Offline truth_seeker

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My first time to vote was 1972, and I was an idealistic 24 yo veteran, gone back to college, and a McGovern supporter.

I walked a precinct in my town, on election day. Boy was that a learning experience. I was shocked at the negative reception I received, by residents (the Silent Majority). It confirmed what my Dad had been saying to me.

I learned that my circle of young friends, workmates, relatives is not reflective of society at large. By the 1976 election I was a newly minted conservative and Republican and therefore Gerald Ford voter.

I had by then taken Statistics, and grown older and wiser.

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Offline Slide Rule

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Libertarians generally are withdrawing from any election that does not have Ron Paul or now Rand Paul as candidates. I see this constantly.  Tree of Liberty is constantly at it.  Also on a Pool Forum, AZ Billiards there are posters constantly saying why support someone, (my words) who is not perfect.

It is a distraction and I comment whenever something like the above is posted.

I live in a very blue, union town, and when I went to college here, it was very liberal.  Of course, it is easier to be liberal when you are young.  Turn 30, 40, ... 60 and just about everything liberal is an issue.  Issues that impede freedom and liberty.

Al

All the best,
Al

Disclosure:
I am 3% Neanderthal and 97% Conservative.

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Richard Feynman, The Feynman Lectures on Physics

Roger Penrose, The Road To Reality & The Emperor's New Mind

Karl Popper, An Open Society and Its Enemies & The Logic of Scientific Discovery



Offline Chieftain

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I think this will hit the Dhimmies especially hard because they BS'd young blacks into supporting Obama and got exactly nothing for it.  And none of them are going to go vote for some old white cracker lady like the Hildebeest.


Offline truth_seeker

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I just talked at length with two young Hispanic men who work in fast food. One is a citizen, but I doubt the other one is.

They BOTH said the Hispanic vote is available to the GOP. They don't like Obama or Hillary.

I specifically asked if legal status would suffice; e.g. NOT a path to citizenship. Both said it would gain many Hispanics, who share conservative values.

I asked if having Rubio, Cruz, Martinez or Sandoval on the ticket would do it. They said absolutely yes.

There is a sample size of two.
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Offline Oceander

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I just talked at length with two young Hispanic men who work in fast food. One is a citizen, but I doubt the other one is.

They BOTH said the Hispanic vote is available to the GOP. They don't like Obama or Hillary.

I specifically asked if legal status would suffice; e.g. NOT a path to citizenship. Both said it would gain many Hispanics, who share conservative values.

I asked if having Rubio, Cruz, Martinez or Sandoval on the ticket would do it. They said absolutely yes.

There is a sample size of two.

obviously anecdote does not a proof make; however, it's a good start and it does indicate that there are some things that the GOP should be doing, notwithstanding that certain factions within the GOP do not like them.


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