Sunday, January 25, 2009

#7: 2-to-1. A New Generation Takes Sides.

Since 2004 Democrats have more than tripled their advantage with young voters. In 2000 voters 18-30 were giving their vote in equal part to each party. Today Democrats have a 31 point advantage within this population (called "Millennials").

Not only is this population giving big margins to Democrats, they're participating at record levels. Pull the adage "young voters don't vote" from Convention Wisdom and refile it under Dangerous Ignorance. Are they harder to reach using tradition methods? Sure. As always, the Party that refuses to evolve it's methods to communicate with the voters through their preferred mode does so at great risk. A windfall of votes awaited the Democratic Party as a result of their embrace of the internet.

For many reasons 2008 has been called "the year of the young voter". There's a dirty little secret Rock the Vote probably doesn't want you to know though. Obama won Gen X and Boomer Generation Voters with a large enough margin that McCain's victory with voters older than didn't matter.* In other words, if Young Voter turnout would have been 0%, Obama still would have won the popular vote. Of course, if the election had been as close as past elections, millennials voters could have swung the outcome.

The Millennial generation will be even larger in 2010 and 2012, perhaps more than 20% of the electorate. Many of them have now voted for Democrats in three consecutive elections, signifying that this is becoming an entrenched behavior for this generation.

Until/unless something transformative occurs, most of this generation will proceed through the next decade as a reliable bloc of votes for the Democratic Party.

Tomorrow: >$200,000. A surprising reversal of fortune.
Age Size
18–29 years old 18% 66% 32% 2%
30-44 years old 29% 52% 46% 2%
45–64 years old 37% 50% 49% 1%
65 years or older 16% 45% 53% 2%

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