October 22, 2009

Gee, ya think?

E.J. Dionne over at the WaPo has a very interesting article up today about the problems Democrats may have in 2010 with young voters. It seems the Under-30 vote may be cooling to the Obamessiah and congressional Dems.

As someone who is safely out of that demographic, my initial reaction to the lede was "So what? Those snot-nosed young punks can't be counted on to consistently vote anyway, what with their autotuned hiphop music and Guitar Hero and what-have-ye' " (my internal voice is much more rural, cranky and out of touch than my talking voice)

But as Dionne's article notes, the under-30 vote was a significant factor in Obama's election. It's the only demographic that is decidedly more liberal than conservative. Yet pollsters are sensing this wave of promising young progressive voters might sit out in 2010. Know why? For one reason, because they perceive that Obama and the national Democrats aren't serious about following through on last year's campaign promises.

Another interesting point in Dionne's article is how the different demographic groups act on their dissatisfaction with politicians. Old voters get pissed off and vote. Young voters say 'Fuck it" and stay home.

This holds good news and bad news. The bad news is that the White House and Congressional Dems appear poised to give the under-30 vote an excuse to stay home next year with some half-assed health care bill that doesn't fundamentally change anything. The good news is, if the news out of Washington these days sometimes makes you fantasize about staying home on Election Day in 2010 as some kind of protest against mambypamby Democrats like Baucus and Nellie, it just means you're young at heart.

Of course, us older and wiser folk know that's counterproductive. But for you Democrats out there who think you're playing to the "middle", I would ask this: Who's going to support you in the primaries if the young voters stay at home and the old voters are pissed at you?

Posted by hbalczak at October 22, 2009 12:50 PM

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