The Kids Are Alright

Kevin notes the latest Democracy Corps poll that suggests Bush has helped drive a generation of young people into the Democratic Party’s open arms.

This is about what you’d expect, but Democracy Corps has released yet another survey demonstrating that the Republican Party is losing young people in droves. Among 18-29 year olds, 50% have a favorable view of the Democratic Party compared to only 35% for the Republican Party. There are plenty of reasons for this, but basically they hate George Bush, they hate the Iraq war, and they hate religious conservatives.

The good news, of course, is that people are brand loyal. Once they make up their minds in their twenties which party they like better, they generally stick with it for the rest of their lives. So the Republican Party’s deal with the devil to embrace the Christian Right might have helped them out for a while, but in the long term it’s a disaster.

In 1984, Reagan won 59% of the youth vote. Four years later, H.W. Bush won 52% of voters in this age group. It’s been downhill for the GOP ever since, and now only 25% of 17- to 29-year-old voters identify themselves as Republican.

I’ve seen several long-term forecasts that suggest Dems are in trouble over the next couple of decades. People are moving away from “blue” strongholds (particularly in the Northeast), and relocating to “red” states that will grow in electoral significance.

But there’s a flip-side -- the Bush era has driven the future in Dems’ direction.


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