October 16, 2006

The times they are a'changing?

It turns out that the one of the biggest changes that the Dubya's administration and the (since 1994) GOP controlled Congress has made in the country is to turn young people solidly toward the Democrats. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press has compiled party identification data for people who turned age 20 under various presidencies, and the NY Times used that dat to come up with a very interesting chart. Since that chart is so huge, I've edited it to show just what's happened since Reagan was president.

Graphic showing party identification of voters of various ages, 1932–2006

[Source: Pew Center for the People and the Press survey
of 23,000 voters between Jan and Oct 2006; Graphic: Bill Marsh/NY Times]

If look at the full chart, you can see that the shift toward young people identifying as Democrats has not only accelerated since Bush I was in office, but that the shift toward the Democrats exceeds even the one that occurred during the Roosevelt and Truman years. While nothing is for certain, it's looking like the GOP may need to start preparing for a generation in the wilderness, much like the Democrats have been enduring since Ronald Reagan became president in 1980.

While I was over at the Pew Center website, I found a some other charts that have more direct bearing on this November's election. First, here are some charts showing the comparative enthusiasm of Democratic and Republican voters.

Graphic showing voter enthusiasm by party identification, 2006

[Source/graphic: Pew Center for the People and the Press]

Unlike during the previous three midterm elections, the Pew survey shows that Democrats are following the current campaign more closely and are more enthusiastic about voting than are GOP voters. And, insofar as enthusiasm goes, the current figures are almost exactly the opposite of those for 1994, when the Republicans swept to control of Congress.

Even more worrisome for GOP strategists is the following chart, which shows that the Democrats have a huge lead among likely voters.

Graphic showing intentions of likely voters, 2006

[Source/graphic: Pew Center for the People and the Press]

Again, the only really comparable year for the GOP is 1994. Even so, the current Democratic lead among likely voters is even larger than that the Republicans enjoyed the year they made their largest congressional gains in recent history.

So while its dangerous to assume that Democrats will necessarily win control of Congress next month, this new research from the Pew Center agrees with other polls showing that lots of GOP legislators should start looking for new jobs come next January.

But better for the country — and more worrying for the GOP — are the numbers showing that young voters have not been impressed by the way that Republicans have been running the country. As this group of voters gets older and increasingly likely to actually show up at the polls, long-term GOP political fortunes look to be heading right into the toilet.

Posted by Magpie at October 16, 2006 12:48 PM | Elections | Technorati links |

The problem with all of this stuff is you have completely ignored the growing independent voting population. Without so much as acknowledging the presence of voters not affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties, your entire post is statistical gibberish.

See my post, 'Can Independents win??'


Democratic Party registration is 25.2% of the population. Republican Party registration is 19.2% of the population. Non-Partisan/Third Party registrations now represent 14.8% of the population.

While total registration has grown by 15.2% over the past 40 years thanks to registration drives and 'motor voter' laws, nearly the entire growth in total registrations has come from people choosing not to belong to either party. Ignore that at your own delusion.

Posted by: ascap_scab at October 17, 2006 08:20 AM

your point about the increasing number of independent voters is well-taken, but your assertion that the existence of independents makes my post statistical gibberish is, well, gibberish.

the huge shift in voter identification is going to have an effect on election results for years. if there are significantly more voters who identify as democrats, the democrats are going to have a greater chance of winning elections -- just as GOP chances increased as the proportion of the electorate who identified as republicans increased.

your claim of 'gibberish' breaks down entirely when dealing with the table showing the intentions of likely voters. the sample included independent voters as well as democrats and republicans.

you might think about asking some questions before you so rashly dismiss data as gibberish, you know?

Posted by: magpie at October 17, 2006 10:11 PM

This is actually pretty funny and not surprising. How the younger demographic has grown to the Democrat side rather than the Republican side. It's easier to see this when you compare the current president and the last president we had. Deomcrat vs Republican

Before Bush we had Clinton, and despite his sex scandal he was still very popular with the young people. The economy was doing great and Clinton has been known to campaign through a lot of media that young people are attracted to. Now on the other hand we have George Bush, it's like "HELLO" I think almost every young person in America thinks Bush is an idiot. There are so many videos online that record his stupidity, like how his grammar isn't even correct or that he doesn't even know that there are diffent kinds of Muslims. I don't know how he ever got into Yale with the grammatical mistakes he's made in public speeches. They even have games making fun of Bush where you get points by identifying the stupid things he's said.

Why would young people want to follow someone who looks like an idiot? Young people don't want to follow someone who appears to them as a moron.

Posted by: Stephanie Ngo at October 26, 2006 04:32 AM