November 3, 2009

Obama Youth: "Voting is so 2008"

The dogs that haven't barked for the last six months have been the Obama Youth, who turned out in large numbers for him in 2008. If you can trust the exit polls (which you can't, but what else do we have to go upon?), in the two gubernatorial races tonight, both won by Republicans in states Obama carried in 2008, the under-30 share of the vote fell to about half what it was last year.

New Jersey
2008: 18-29 year olds cast 17% of votes, 67% for Obama
2009: 18-29 year olds cast 9% of votes, 57% for Corzine

2008: 73% white, 49% for Obama
2009: 73% white, 34% for Corzine

Virginia
2008: 18-29 year olds cast 21% of votes, 60% for Obama
2009: 18-29 year olds cast 10% of votes, 44% for Deeds

2008: 70% white, 39% for Obama
2009: 78% white, 32% for Deeds

Would Obama have had more legislative success if he'd kept the Kids interested by first emphasizing Saving the World through carbon capping instead of something boring and unsexy and will-never-happen-to-me like health care?

Or are young people always bored with day to day politics?

Or was Obama just a fad, like how my generation decided in 1982-83 that Men at Work was the greatest band in history?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think its partially a function of fashion and the unsexiness of actual legislation. Liberals should always nominate painfully earnest quotidian dullards like Walter Mondale to remind them that liberalism is boring and tedious and if its agenda were fully enacted would turn every experience in your life into a visit to the post office.

I would like to see the breakdown by age a little more finely -- 18-29 covers everyone from college freshmen to young parents. In the "where you stand depends on where you sit" school of politics "where you sit" changes a lot during these years, and the anticipated trajectory of your life changes more than it might in the next 20 years. Last year's college senior is now pounding the pavement looking for work.

Chris said...

I have a 13-year-old nephew who wears an "Obama is my homeboy" T-shirt. I can't imagine that appearing cool to 18-year-old potential voters. Then again, those are 18-year-olds I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

Obama inspired a lot of young people to vote because they are heavily invested in the "overcoming white racism" narrative. They take for granted the essential guilt of white people and the essential worthiness of NAMs even more than Gen Xers.

meep said...

There was no way voting for Deeds or Corzine was going to be cool, the way voting for Obama was cool.

In general, though, off-year elections are lightly attended, and I think you get bigger drop-offs from younger people than the old folks who have nothing better to do than show up at the polls.

[for the record, I have showed up for every election since I was 18, usu. when the polls open. Even races for highway commissioner.]

Greg Ham said...

Dude, Men at Work IS the greatest band in history!

Anonymous said...

"Or was Obama just a fad, like how my generation decided in 1982-83 that Men at Work was the greatest band in history?"

That's pretty sad if it's true.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

This isn't a national election so my contemporaries are not as concerned. I expect youth turnout to increase in 2010, maybe not to 2008 levels but certainly higher than this year.

Incidentally I did not vote in the NYC municipal general election since it is a foregone conclusion. I did vote in the Dem primary.

Anonymous said...

I heard Bob McDonnell in an interview last week say "we need to increase legal immigration". (Let me translate: We need to hand out more visas to young Asian guys and gals from timbuktu so we can lower labor costs here in the U.S.). This guy is about as Conservative as Bill Clinton. But, because he's "pro-gun" and "pro-life" people vote for him. He's a "Ronald Reagan Republican" (AKA Pro-Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants).

How many GOP members who won last night are for repealing the 1965 Immigration Act? How many are for ending the H-1B Visa and L-1 Visa programs?

Peopel will probably say this is a prelude to what happened in 1994. I hope not. In 1994, Newt and Bill Clinton never once tried to repeal the 1965 Immigration Act.

Boycott the GOP until they go on record supporting a repeal of the 1965 Immigration Act and ending the H-1B and L-1 Visas.

If this is just more "low tax, pro-life, pro-gun, Pro-Amnesty, ignore repealing the 1965 Immigration Act Republicans" then the GOP wins yesterday were very, very bad for the future of Ameirca and good for the future of Mexifornia.

Anonymous said...

Leave me out of that 'Men at Work' comment, Steve. I hated them then as much as I do, now.

BTW, I don't agree with the 'young people are heavily invested in overcoming white racism' meme. I spend most of my working day with teens, who, while they (sadly) copy the appalling "fashion sense" of the ghetto, do not, in the main, hold themselves responsible for any past racist treatment of black Americans. They, personally, have never known anything but affirmative action, schooling stressing the importance of worshiping diversity, and the kids of color around them seemingly getting every break under the sun - all the breaks that they as white youth have, and then some.

Whatever they say in public, the more educated black kids don't buy into "we're entitled" nearly as much as the ignorant and/or older AA's do, either.

I'm convinced that the perception of young people buying the white guilt thing is largely an observation of a relatively few young public loud mouths, who get more attention and press than they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Regarding MAW, last night i watched the infomercial for Time's Greatest Rock Ballads. These were mainly songs of the 80's.

Now I am 49, and I will tell you right now that if I made a list of the worst songs of the 80's (and maybe of ALL TIME), this album had them.

All save Fleetwood Mac's Over My Head was pure putrid, sophomoric, hair-band, cliche-ridden tripe.

ARG!!

Lost Pilgrim said...

Stevie Ray Vaughn was the greatest. He was a friend of my brothers and I saw him when he was opening for Men at Work. Stevie dedicated his opening song to my infant son. Mary had a little lamb.

silly girl said...

That is the deal with children, and people who act like them. They are easily duped but only perform under constant supervision.

Anonymous said...

Obama appealed to the people too young to remember that 'hope' and 'change' were the exact words used by Billy C to get himself elected 16 years earlier.

Didn't hurt that he was running against a guy that probably would have endorsed Obabma had he (McCain) not won the promary.

Stopped Clock said...

The health care swindle will turn off any self-respecting young person to Democratic policies as soon as they realize what they're in for:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125418271275947943.html

Michael J. Thompson said...

Men at work is the greatest band in history Steve.

AllanF said...

Fad. We had our collective fame, er history, moment, time to find something new. Narcism requires novelty.

Simon said...

I think Obama could have keep his youth base motivated by being a lot more radical and Che Guevara-ish, I agree that Climate Change would have been a good issue. This could have done a lot more damage to his Presidency long term though. His "left wing but sane" stance may offer better longer term prospects and certainly seems more in line with Alinskyite teachings. The mainstream left-media is still largely drooling over him, from what I can see.

OneSTDV said...

I wrote about why Obama got the youth vote awhile back:

Why Obama got the Youth Vote

Mark said...

[People] will probably say this is a prelude to what happened in 1994. I hope not. In 1994, Newt and Bill Clinton never once tried to repeal the 1965 Immigration Act.

For all the attention "conservative" Doug Hoffman got, it's worth pointing out that he was heavily backed by the open borders "Club for Growth," and that his position on illegal immigration was thus:

There is no question that our immigration policies are flawed. The answer, though, is not to put up a wall and stop all immigration. The answer is to create an easier path for immigrants to enter the United States – and to work here – while at the same time getting tough on illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

In other words, only deport those who commit crimes (nevermind that they've all committed a crime). The other 11 million or so can stay.

Conservatives were desperate for a victory last night, and we got several. The NY-23 race was not one of them, and in one very important sense it would not have been one even if Hoffman had won. Next year's elections, which I assume Hoffman plans to run in, will be much more orderly. We need to hold Republican candidates feet to the fire. We can't be so desperate for a victory that we lay down for any man who casts a smile our way.

Low taxes and gun rights are irrelevant if you're importing a population that will change the political landscape so thoroughly as to make both of those a permanent impossibility.

Marc B said...

Obama has lost his luster with all factions that supported him and there was also no compelling narrative to get the groups of previously rabid and unique presidential election voters out in numbers large enough to matter for a few middle-aged, white male party hacks. I'll believe the punditry that claims this means something nationally when Democrats lose something that matters, like significant numbers of senate and house seats.

The anointed one's approval poll numbers are a better indicator of public sentiment of his Long March.

Anonymous said...

...Let me translate: We need to hand out more visas to young Asian guys and gals from timbuktu... the GOP wins yesterday were very, very bad for the future of Ameirca and good for the future of Mexifornia...

In fairness, there's a huge difference between importing IQ 100+ Asians and importing IQ 80- Central American aboriginals.

agnostic said...

I did an analysis of online petitions and found that young people don't really care about environmentalist, help the animals, save the world stuff -- mostly for people in their 30s.

EXCEPT when the petition is to lower the drinking age. Then young people turn out in droves to sign online petitions. This shows that it really is their beliefs, not access to the internet or willingness to sign petitions or whatever, that explains the first pattern.

Here it is

So they probably would've grown bored even if Obama had taken on even more idealistic programs.

It was just a quick expression of which groups you affiliate with. No need to follow up.

Anonymous said...

This is the first I've heard that we later boomers elected Men At Work the best band ever in 1983. Up here in NorCal, I bet way more people would have said Fleetwood Mac or Tom Petty or even Journey, than MAW. And the people who hated thought those bands probably would have voted for the B-52's.

rob said...

Young people don't care about voting for the same reason you aren't all that into the sucession of Norwegian monarchy: it does not matter. Voting decides who military contractors, and trial buy. It matters quite a bit to those who get fortunes in bribes(they have much prettier words for it) but I don't see why I should care.

That, and the polity is dead. No use beating a dead horse.

rob said...

Anyone wants to get youth to vote for them: forgive student loan debt. Take the money that universities got violating price-fixing and Rico laws and return it to victims.

Anonymous said...

BTW, CNN has a new video with Obama's half brother, Mark:


youtube.com

freedomslighthouse.com


From watching him and listening to him speak, I see no evidence in support of any IQ 120/130/140 presence in the Obama family.

And from listening to him play the piano, my guess would be that William Ayers invented all that nonsense about Gustav Mahler.

PS: I don't have any [close] personal experience with broken families in my own life [only the numerous tangential encounters that everyone has nowadays], but I find it fascinating to watch these broken-family megalomaniacs like Obama and Clinton disown [or refuse to ever even acknowledge] their half-siblings.

I believe that Slick Willie has some half-siblings whom he still [to this day!] has never met.

Or at least purported half-siblings - no one is entirely certain just who Slick's biological daddy really was. [And, truth be told, the Dunham-Obama link is itself rather tenuous.]

I can't imagine learning that I had half-siblings and not seeking them out and bringing them into the family.

[Or learning that my Aunt was on welfare as an illegal alien, or that another half-brother was struggling through a subsistence-level existence in a mud hut with a cardboard roof...]

David said...

> I'm convinced that the perception of young people buying the white guilt thing is largely an observation of a relatively few young public loud mouths, who get more attention and press than they deserve. <

Sadly, as young people get older and more invested in the System, they inevitably become more conformist about its standards. Wait until they're 30. You'll see a great deal of black anger and white "noblesse oblige" then.

josh said...

What the PUA's call "herbs"--well-meaning nice guys who care about the world 'n stuff--got little or no traction out of wearing "Corzine" buttons in front of their feminist would be girlfriends. Corzines (OMG! I am SORRY!!!! Make that Corzine's)homely,fat,arrogant puss brings out the idealism in nobody except his slob money grubbing pals and wets the panties of very few co-eds! People are scared of the high unemployment,the defecits--even the ignorant Amer. public is learning about defecits with this clown in office!!--and ramming thru stuff like health care. Fear,as Vince Lombardi said,is a great motivator. Uhm,wait. No,he said"Fatigue makes cowards of us all." Or was that Soupy Sales? Regis Philbin?I dont know. You get the point.

Henry Canaday said...

To paraphrase Duane Hickman in Cat Ballou, "ain't never seen an Administration go by so fast."

Otis the Sweaty said...

"If this is just more "low tax, pro-life, pro-gun, Pro-Amnesty, ignore repealing the 1965 Immigration Act Republicans" then the GOP wins yesterday were very, very bad for the future of Ameirca and good for the future of Mexifornia."

Wrong attitude. It is impossible to get rid of either legal or illegal immigration legislatively because both parties are committed to to it. But Republican victories can:
A. Piss off liberals
B. Prevent amnesty

Eventually, the American economy will collapse and then we can deal with immigration. But not before. In the mean time, lets just work on pissing off liberals and making life as uncomfortable as possible for the illegals who are here.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

I agree that young people are not be as guilt ridden over slavery or other historic racial injustice that we were not involved in. However the reason for this is because folks of my generation generally get along pretty well with people of other races and ethnicities.

Consequently, we are also not invested in repealing the 1965 Immigration Act and bringing back the national origins quotas for immigration to the US.

Carolyn said...

Obama was a total fad to younger voters. Thank goodness his star is fading fast. The grownups are voting now. 2010 will be very interesting.

I went to college in the early 80s. Men Without Hats was always considered lightweight. U2 would have easily been voted greatest band in the early 80s.

Carter said...

Consequently, we are also not invested in repealing the 1965 Immigration Act and bringing back the national origins quotas for immigration to the US.

It's a little disingenuous to use "we" here.

POC, you have a tendency to use that pronoun a bit too broadly and liberally.

David said...

> folks of my generation generally get along pretty well with people of other races and ethnicities. <

All young generations get along better (not well) with other races and ethnicities than older generations do. It's when the younglings mature and start forming their own conclusions from experience that the picture begins to sour.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

Carter, I am just speaking from my own experiences. I know folks on this blog disagree but then ya'll aren't really mainstream these days. Throughout my work and studies friends and acquiantances rarely if ever mentioned the 1965 Immigration reforms. And my circle is more conservative politically than you might expect.

David Davenport said...

I heard Bob McDonnell in an interview last week say "we need to increase legal immigration".

They're saying similar things about Mr. Hoffman who lost the congressional race in upstate NY.

Hoffman's a Lib Lib Libertarian "conservative," a more-the-merrier immigration advocate.

He may not be much more conservative than the Democrat who won.

Unreconstructed said...

Obviously the best way to achieve revolution in a democracy (which opends the door to displacement and control of the native population as per the New World Order) can be summed up in a two-pronged plan:

A. give women the vote

B. give children the vote

George Soros & Co can biologically and culturally remake even a place like Afghanistan in a scant two or three generations IF parts A. and B. of the plan are enacted.

alias said...

STDv nails what I was getting at in my ealier (more) anonymous comment. It's not so much an "overcoming white racism" meme as a "black progress = American progress" meme that the young have internalized.

alias said...

Men at Work had some pretty good songs: "Who Can it Be Now?", "Down Under" and (my favorite) "Overkill". I never heard anyone describe them as a great band though.

Anonymous said...

I agree that we should try to cut down immigrations, but in the meantime, Guns Matter. The 2nd Amendment matters. Unless all of you want ONLY the government and the criminals to have guns, then it is very very important to support Republicans, because, despite all their other flaws, they are pro 2nd Amendment = pro the private ownership of guns.

The older I get, the more I think that gun rights is the single most important issue in the US. It's the defining difference between us and the sheep of Europe. It's the bedrock without which our other "freedoms" are meaningless.

For what it's worth, I've never owned a gun (in fact, I'm practically a vegan). But I'm a proud NRA member, and I think it's important to elect Republicans for that reason alone. I also urge anybody who worries about immigration, crime, and government powers to support the NRA and the pro-gun politicians. Learning to shoot, which I've never gotten around to, is also a good idea.

Otis the Sweaty said...

"Carter, I am just speaking from my own experiences. I know folks on this blog disagree but then ya'll aren't really mainstream these days."

You're learning the wrong lessons from your experiences and making the same mistake liberals do thinking that the young will lead to some future left wing dystopia.

I'm 26 and get along just fine with blacks and hispanics in daily life, as do all my friends, but that doesn't mean that any of them support Affirmative Action or amnesty for illegals. The personal and the political are very seperate. Young white men hate PC more than probably any other group.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

Otis

I don't support amnesty and I take a generally centrist view on AA. My friends and I have a broad range of political ideologies and views on all sorts of issues. However, the one thing we all have in common is that we are all relatively comfortable with racial and ethnic differences and contrary to what David asserts, I doubt this will change when we get older. I just don't think America's racial and ethnic composition is a large concern for our generation with some exceptions.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn, you are mixing up Men at Work and Men Without Hats.

Svigor said...

I'm convinced that the perception of young people buying the white guilt thing is largely an observation of a relatively few young public loud mouths, who get more attention and press than they deserve.

As far as I can tell, white kids today think of the race issue as Al Swearengen might: "a bag of shit to hold."

POC, can you pass as white, or black, or mestizo? If the answer is no on one or more counts, you're probably missing out on a conversation or two.

But even if you weren't, your life experience doesn't amount to much in the face of, say, Putnam's work.

general torpor said...

MAW? I liked that weird song about the some Brit-Australian food, the vitameatavegin sandwich (got that mixed up with I Love Lucy episode I think), but the greatest? What? As far as mainstream bands of the 80s, definitely Tom Petty.

general torpor said...

according to Unreconstructed:
"A. give women the vote

B. give children the vote"

and you're on the road to perdition as a nation.

Women are grouped with children? Then allimony really is justified, honey, because obviously they can't be trusted in a serious workplace.
Steve, you have some smart commenters and I know you don't do PC (good), but some of your readers would probably be more comfortable in, oh, some Afghan village, than they themselves realize.

corvinus said...

I think the "Obama Youth" phenomenon may be explained thusly.

Nonwhite youth voted as a bloc for Obama and still support him. Blacks, of course, would have a 90%+ approval rating for him no matter what (something to keep in mind when tracking Obama's overall approval ratings).

White youth, on the other hand, are more ambivalent. Young white men who voted for him did so in the belief that he was an anti-war libertarian like them, as opposed to Bush and his interventionist policies, and voted for him as a substitute for Ron Paul. Now, though, they seem to have largely turned off to him, judging from the opinions of people I know.

Young white women are still supportive as a whole, as they seem to be naturally more liberal than men, but their support is now quite lukewarm.

Otis the Sweaty said...

"However, the one thing we all have in common is that we are all relatively comfortable with racial and ethnic differences "


what does that mean, "comfortable"? I would say that most guys in their 40's and 50's are pretty comfortable dealing with people of different races, but that doesn't mean they want to move into a black or hispanic neighborhood.

Just because somebody can tolerate diversity doesn't mean that they like it.

Also keep in mind that the worse the economy gets, the worse ethnic tensions that were previously believed dead will rise up.

Nine-of-Diamonds said...

"folks of my generation generally get along pretty well with people of other races and ethnicities."

As long as we're going to use personal experience, I'm going to have to disagree. For all his faults, Alan Bloom pretty much nailed down race relations amongst youths in "SWPL-ish" professional & academic settings. To summarize his findings, whites are superficially friendly & tolerant towards minorities because they can afford to be - after all, the whites who made it into the Ivies or the big firms are well-off, steeped in Pee Cee, and intelligent enough to have beaten out thousands of whites and "qualified" NAMS. Although they may be burned that some of their friends lost places to underqualified minorities there's little overt hostility. OTOH, there is an intuitive "feeling" that NAM's are freeloaders & lightweights. With the exception of students in the soft sciences/ grievance studies there's little discussion of cutting-edge academic issues between the races; after all, most of the hispanics & blacks in these settings are too uninformed to carry on meaningful conversations w/o the identity politics crutch. Recall the articles about our Halfrican Hero's years as a lecturer, when he isolated himself in the faculty room & rarely discussed the legal topics of the day. Like the typical AA admit he was either several tiers below his colleagues or too lazy to keep himself up-to-date on current events.
On my undergraduate campus (and at my current school) the end results seem to be the following:

-Shallow friendships b/w SWPL's and NAMS, with both groups aware of the intellectual gap

-A few close friendships between die-hard SWPL libs and minorities, who use blacks as props to alleviate white guilt

-Persistent self segregation of NAM's who resent SWPL "generosity" (and fear embarrassment in professional discussions). This segregation may be encouraged or discouraged by administrators, depending on what their diversity czars say ought to be done.

As another commenter mentioned, look for modern-day "tolerance" to break down as the economy worsens and the current racial spoils system becomes more pronounced/zero sum.

Anonymous said...

You were listening to Men at Work.I was listening to Black Flag.