May 24, 2007
Joni Balter in today's column reports on a Pew survey of 18-25 year olds. Balter trumpets the finding that these young voters "are identifying more and more with the Democratic Party"
Candidates hoping to do big business in 2008 should carefully observe the voting tendencies of these younger voters. They are socially tolerant, open-minded about race and gay issues, and they grow angrier all the time about the fighting in Iraq.
Whenever a newspaper cites an opinion poll, always
look at the original. You're likely to find a great deal of important information that was left out of the newspaper article. In this case
, the 18-25 year olds:
are the most likely of any generation to support privatization of the Social Security system
They are the most likely of any age group to say that automation, the outsourcing of jobs, and the growing number of immigrants have helped and not hurt American workers.
Not exactly core Democrat positions.
I'd be careful of ascribing too much future significance to the current views of these youngest voters. For example, we learn that:
They are significantly less cynical about government and political leaders than are other Americans or the previous generation of young people. A majority of Americans agree with the statement: "When something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful," but most Generation Nexters reject this idea.
That's the finding that surprised me the most, but it can be plausibly explained by this fact reported in the more detailed write-up
Young people read the newspaper, watch television news and listen to news on the radio at much lower rates than their older counterparts.
In general, it's hard to know how well government actually performs if you don't follow the news about it. And as far as younger voters being a potent Democrat political force? Consider their views on the leadership in Washington, DC:
They are less likely than older Americans to embrace a "throw the bums out" philosophy
The survey was taken last September and October, on the eve of the congressional election. If these youngsters were such strong Democrats, you'd think they would have been more motivated to throw out the Republicans who were in control in Washington
Some free and friendly business advice to the Seattle Times -- it would be both more cost-effective for you, and a better public service for your readers, if instead of paying Joni Balter for biased, cherry-picked items from public opinion surveys, you would simply publish links to the surveys and let your readers read the reports for themselves.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at May 24, 2007
12:12 PM | Email This
18 to 25-year olds as a group are always more liberal than their elders. Who was it that said when we're young we're liberals and think with our hearts, but when we grow up we're conservatives and think with our heads? Or words to that effect...Was it Barry Goldwater or Winston Churchill?
Joni's still PO'd about text messaging...
Young people get their news from the internet - not tv or radio and certainly not from newspapers.
3. With the indoctrination they get in public schools, it's no wonder. They are not taught to think for themselves politically, but rather whatever their teachers tell them, and teachers are 95%+ liberal.
4. It was Bismarck (tells you how long ago the formulation was originally presented), those who are not socialists at 19 have no heart, those who are still socialists at 30 have no brains. Joni Balter still exists? Didn't our hometown newspapers both go out of business a while back? Hunh, who'd a thunk.
True story sidenote to post #3. When I was in grade school, a civics teacher of mine actually told us that Jimmy Carter, after enough time had passed would be considered one of best presidents of the last half century. Seriously.
No one, including me, questioned him. But I think back to that comment and realized how much personal politics played into classroom instruction.
The only thing less relavant than Balter's article is the survey it cites, although at least the survey has the advantage of being somewhat recent. Balter's article is essentially a repeat of the same "findings" of other studies done in and aournd election times dating back to the year prior to the lowering of the voting age.
I was there.
And voters in this age demographic have demonstrated again and again they have a notoriously poor turn-out.
As I read her gleeful boasting this morning the THIS
was the first thing that popped into my mind...
Because it was from Joni Balter, I didn't read it closely- BUT, this "senior" voter (who has voted Republican all his life) is about to get listed as an Independent. The disgraceful Republican showing on the Coleman amendment to the Immigration bill was the last straw.
PS: I'm also taking my money with me too.
9. This kind of stuff has been circulating since I was in college (when dinosaurs roamed the earth). However, I did notice it was the more conservative peers who actually got off their duffs to vote in more than a presidential election. And I have seen this same trend among my kids' friends. Not a scientific poll, but probably more accurate than Joni Baloni's ravings. Note to Seattle Times: I stopped my subscription because you consistently mistake fiction for facts.
What neither Joni nor all her critics above noted is the inconvenient truth that the generation to which she referred is more non-white than those that preceded it, so the Democratic party affiliation is probably not surprising.
It would be interesting to see the breakdown by race. I'll bet that over time the white component (or what's left of it) will become increasingly conservative as it comes more disproportionately from religious families (Jewish and Christian alike). They will be likely to embrace their parents' politics because they simply won't be able to find age white peers with other views since liberals refuse to breed.
children are nearly always more liberal than they are as adults.
Start off a leftist twit, end up a libertarian cynic. The crap I tended to believe when I was that age won't get past the front door of an older, wiser me...
Young people have only one biological goal: Replace their elders.
As such, they will oppose whatever the current dominant party is and try to supplant them.
After reviewing the entire report one thing becomes quite clear - they are asking a pack of kids to comment on social trends that they have no historical backgroud to use as a reference. They are basically just parroting what they have heard and don't really know what the hell they are talking about.
Seriously, asking them about comparing social standards from when they were small children or even before they were born is just asinine. They have no point of reference, which those of us that actually lived through those times as adult do, so their answers are meaningless. Hysterically funny in some instances, but meaningless. Quite obviously, they have fallen victim to thinking that their parents were never young once.
Exactly. My 12 year old is already a diehard Republican. I think it nice, but she doesn't have any basis.
I try to give her both sides of an argument (or so I say to her, heh-heh) and try to get her to start the process to think things through. That way, when she meets the other young-uns she will be more self-sufficient.
15. I asked 80 students in two college classes about newspaper reading. They do not read printed papers at all. Most do not read the newspaper online either. They get their "news" from the Colbert Report and the Daily Report, both on Comedy Central. Mostly they do not pay attention to what we used to call news.
The Republicans started a war on deliberately misleading pretenses, couldn't run FEMA, and have had scandal after scandal all pointing to inept leadership. Other than Guiliani there is no Republican on the national stage worthy of the name "Leadership." Not McCain, maybe 15 years ago, not now. Kids watch their peers get lied to why they go to war, get lied to about how well they'll be provided for while at war, and get lied to by the people entrusted with leadership. Since most of those have been Republicans nationally, how would they not start to identify with the other side?
Whats even more telling is that more people identify themselves these days as "independent" than as either R or D, according to CNN yesterday.
SoundPolitics would do well to remember that, the news here is so R based as to be another clone of Fox "News" on most occasions. Republican hypocrisy is being flushed nationally, I am not arguing for D, just against R. You people have led us into mistake after mistake, now you attempt to justify it with blaming the poll. This one poll might be flawed, but I doubt the conclusion that R's are flawed as leaders is .
17. And so the proof is in the pudding. Above commentater is a product of getting his news from comedy central and democrat underground.
DaveD @ 16,
And yet here you are...
Swatter @ 17
And like his democrat peers, DaveD has no original ideas, he is "just against R". It's no wonder the Reid/Pelosi Congressional' approval ratings are hovering below the Mendoza Line.
Plus 18 to 25 vote how often?
Damn forgot to post that didn't they. LOL
Bush stench will last 2 decades and many elections.
So a lot of the kids referenced in the column are simply reacting in horror. Just like the rest of the population.
The kids sound like libertarians to me.
against the war
privatize social security
free trade and immigration are good...
This is the best news I've read all week! :)