Monday, February 11, 2008

What Generation Gap?

Interesting findings from Pew on a discernable lack of polarization between younger voters and older voters:

[T]he exit polls on Super Tuesday point to interesting differences -- and similarities -- between younger and older Democratic voters. Young Democratic voters are considerably more likely than their elders to be Hispanic, and slightly more likely to be black. They are more apt to say they have no religious affiliation (23% vs. 18% among those ages 30-44, 15% among those 45-59, 10% among those ages 60 and older), and more likely to say they are "liberal" in their political orientation.

But their attitudes on issues, and their orientations with respect to the '08 campaign -- other than their vote choice -- are not very different from those of their elders. Younger and older Democratic voters are similar in the ratings they give to the national economy (overwhelmingly "not so good" or "poor"), in the percentage Democratic vs. independent, and when they say they made up their minds who to vote for in the election. They are no different in the importance they assign to gender and race in the vote. And their issue priorities are very similar to those of older voters. Notably, though younger voters were more likely to vote for Obama, comparable percentages of younger and older voters say they would be satisfied with each candidate.

I believe that a good deal of talk in the media and even in the campaigns of a cleavage between young and old Dem-leaning voters is hyperbole designed either to sensationalize or to drive home talking points. Pew indicates that there is more common cause than gets spun up.

1 comment:

  1. Mike,

    The talk in the media has been about the difference between young and old on who they support, not the issues they support, and this poll shows exactly what the media has been saying; young voters gravitate towards Obama, and older voters gravitate towards would seem to show that its not an issue based decision though (which I think I said, and I think you accused me of engaging in "identity politics" because I said it).