In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Which Way Did They Go?
Oh my. The democrats were elated when the presidential election results came in. By an whooping 2 to 1 ratio, the always illusive youth vote went for Barack Obama. For eternity, both political parties have tried, and mostly unsuccessfully, to lure the 18 to 29 voter into their party and now here was proof positive that these young-ins were Democrats and some even boosted this was the genesis of a new Democratic movement. Well a funny thing happened on the way to the movement. The 18-29 year olds abandoned Obama when he needed them most. When former U.S. Senator Teddy Kennedy's seat was up for grabs, the democrats assumed the young voters would turn out since Obama was pushing for a democrat to replace Mr. K. The votes were counted. The Democratic candidate lost. And the "kids" were nowhere to be found. Ditto for other special elections in New Jersey and North Carolina. If there was a movement, you needed a magnifying glass at the polls to find it. To underscore the mercurial nature of this voting segment, a new PEW Research Center survey suggests that these first-time, young minorities and other youths are not wedded to the Democrats. Just after the Obama tidal wave, 62% of these folks declared they were D's. The number is now 54%. And to make matters worse for the D's, only 30% of these voters considered themselves Republicans in 2008 with the number shooting up to 40% now. The so-called movement is moving in the wrong direction for the Democrats. Democrats got it wrong when they saw all those votes for Obama in that they mistakenly thought the young adults would be loyal. Hey man, they were voting for the man and not the party which is why it was easy to abandon the party when the man was not on the ballot. Both parties are desperate to hang onto these voters because they compose one-fourth of the U.S. electorate which is enough to decide any election…if they drop their Game-Boys and Blackberries long enough to vote. Getting them to vote is problematic as party loyalty is not in the DNA of these potentially influential kids. Their only real allegiance is to themselves.