Read time: 3 minutes

Wave Of 65+ Voters Put Wingnuts In Control Of The Senate

There were a lot of reasons we lost last night, but not rallying young voters was the biggest.
Wave Of 65+ Voters Put Wingnuts In Control Of The Senate
Image from: NBC

Now that I've had a good night's sleep, I'm poking around through the wreckage this morning. The first thing that pops up is, it looks like senior citizens drove this wave. The Ebola-terrified, immigrant-hating, Fox News-loving voters made all the difference:

The nationwide total of nearly 20,000 respondents showed that Republicans led 56 percent to 43 percent among those 65 and older, and 52 percent to 46 percent among those ages 45 to 64. By contrast, Democrats led 55 percent to 43 percent among those 18 to 29, and 51 percent to 47 percent among those 30 to 44.

Similar exit polls were conducted in most states with a competitive campaign for a Senate seat. In at least four states where Republicans took what had been a Democratic-controlled seat, they performed best among the oldest voters.

Of those states, the age disparity was most pronounced in Iowa and North Carolina. Republican Joni Ernst won Iowa over Rep. Bruce Braley by 56 percent to 42 percent among those 65 and older, and 52 percent to 47 percent among those 45 to 64. Ernst lost 43 percent to 54 percent among those 18 to 29, and 48 percent to 49 percent among those 30 to 44. In North Carolina, Republican Thom Tillis’s contest with Sen. Kay Hagan had comparable margins.

But in the states where young people turned out, like New Hampshire, we won. Hmm.

But mostly, we didn't get out our young voters. That's because, more than any other group, young voters are least tolerant of bullshit. For over a year now, Democrats have been touting an economic "recovery" that exists only for rich people. Young people who can't get jobs (let alone good ones), who are still living at home or sharing apartments because there's no way in hell they can afford to get their own -- they don't see any recovery.

So what would make them want to go stand in line when, to their minds, they're only asking for more of the same? That's not their fault. It's the fault of the Democrats.


↓ Story continues below ↓

Charles Chamberlain to Democracy For America members this morning:

Senator Al Franken's huge win tonight stands in stark contrast to the implosion of Wall Street Wing Democrats like Senator Mark Pryor in Arkansas. Try as they might, Republicans were never able to make the Senate race in Minnesota competitive, because Senator Franken built his campaign around his strong record of fighting for populist progressive priorities like raising the minimum wage, Wall Street accountability, and student loan reform.

Mark Pryor's Wall Street Wing campaign wasn't alone. Consultants convinced many candidates to chase "swing" voters with conservative messaging, rather than run bold, populist progressive campaigns that rally the base and win Democratic, Independent, and Republican votes.

Alison Lundergan Grimes' decision to run an anti-immigrant ad -- while never standing up for the popular idea of expanding Social Security -- is a good example of a very bad trend. If we're going to win in 2016, that style of campaigning must end now.

It doesn't matter if it's Harry Truman or Howard Dean who said it best, but if "voters have a choice between a Republican candidate and a Republican-lite candidate, voters will choose a real Republican every time."

Voters -- especially those who turnout in presidential years for Democrats -- are looking for bold solutions to the income inequality crisis, not campaigns and candidates that look and sound like slightly better versions of Republicans.

Let's not forget to blame the media. The constant drumbeat of the horse race, the refusal to look at actual candidate positions. I'll have more to say on that later.

But let's not ignore the fact that we don't really have an economic recovery, and bragging about it when people don't see it in their lives was a bad move.

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.