Saturday, March 23, 2013

In the category of "More bad news for the Republican party," there is evidence to suggest that President Obama may have created an entire generation of lifelong Democrats.

Courtesy of the Atlantic:  

Has Obama turned an entire generation of voters into lifelong Democrats? The answer, according to political scientists who study partisanship, may well be yes. Voting for a party is a habit, they say, and the habit tends to stick. The Americans who came of age under FDR leaned more Democratic than the electorate as a whole for the rest of their voting lives. Many of today’s oldest voters—who broke for Mitt Romney by a wider margin than any other age group—cast their first, formative ballots in the Eisenhower years. And the Reagan era (spanning his 1980 election, his 1984 reelection, and the 1988 election of his vice president, George H. W. Bush) had a particularly marked effect on the rising voters of the 1980s. The Americans who entered the electorate during that time have remained disproportionately loyal to the GOP compared with voters overall. 

In their 2002 book, Partisan Hearts and Minds, the political scientists Donald Green, Bradley Palmquist, and Eric Schickler argue that party loyalty is a tribe-like social identification. Despite parties’ shifting stances on issues, and despite changes in personal beliefs over time, voters tend to continue to affiliate with the same political party. (Think of the “yellow-dog Democrats” of the South, segregationist conservatives who, it was said, would vote for a yellow dog before they’d cast a ballot for a Republican. After national Democrats switched to championing civil rights in the 1960s, these voters did eventually begin to vote with the GOP—but it took decades for them to relabel themselves as Republicans.) 

There’s even intriguing new evidence that the act of voting can itself strengthen party loyalty. In a not-yet-published paper, Elias Dinas, a scholar of U.S. politics at the University of Nottingham, compared first-time voters in the 1968 presidential election with people who were otherwise similar but who didn’t vote that year. Dinas found that Nixon voters were subsequently more Republican, and Humphrey voters more Democratic, than peers who hadn’t voted—an indication that casting a ballot makes a person more partisan. 

To be sure, not every president bends the electorate toward his party. Pols like Nixon, Clinton, and Bush, who were hardly known for inspiring youth movements, left the electorate much the way they found it. But to Laura Stoker, a UC Berkeley political-science professor who studies partisanship, the fact that young Obama supporters have affirmed their allegiance in two consecutive presidential elections may herald a generation of Democratic-leaning voters that will skew the composition of the electorate far into the future. “The consistency of young people’s support for Obama in 2008 and 2012 suggests a pattern similar to the 1980s,” she told me. “They are going to be more Democratic than they would have otherwise been, because the character of the first votes cast produces or reinforces a Democratic leaning.”

Like I said before this President will go down in history as perhaps one of the BEST Presidents this country has ever seen.

Anybody care to argue that?


  1. Anonymous3:37 AM

    Between his strong leadership and the whining, juvenile GOP 'leaders' (vote for ME because I am anti-progress!) I think Democrats are well-positioned to finally kick the GOP to the curb and start rebuilding this nation.

  2. Anonymous3:44 AM

    '''Like I said before this President will go down in history as perhaps one of the BEST Presidents this country has ever seen.''

    I couldn't agree more, with you I am so proud that I voted for him both times. I am so proud of and adore President Obama.

  3. Anonymous4:09 AM

    This is certainly true for my two 20-something kids. A charismatic President, who crosses racial barriers and speaks their language, tells them "Yes, we can." A positive affirmation that includes all his listeners. They'll be "all charged up and ready to go" for the rest of their lives.

    The GOP, however, put up stiff old men or hectoring women, whose basic message is "No, you can't," Even the small libertarian sector of the party isn't consistent about leaving voters' private lives alone. Their fat cat donors have made it clear that they only care about people who will vote for the donors' interests. When it comes time to employ or help their fellow citizens, they've disappeared.

    The tide has turned toward personal freedom, and few young people stomach the hypocrisy of the Republicans now -- and won't forget it for years to come.

    1. Anonymous6:27 AM

      We can go back to McCain and Palin as being horrible Republican candidates! McCain assuredly is one of the old white, angry, fat guy Republicans that needs to retire. He changes his positions on things more than anyone else in the U.S. Congress!

      And, as to Palin (horrible pick, McCain!) - thank God she is falling even faster and is currently being made to look like the idiot she is by the national media and comedians.

  4. Anonymous4:17 AM

    They should be worried about the efforts of Team Obama to turn Texas purple...

    1. Anonymous6:23 AM

      I so hope that Alaska turns back to being blue too! We are currently being led by idiots (as to the oil industry - taxes and incentives). Republicans are damaging our country throughout the nation.

  5. Anonymous5:09 AM

    I totally agree with you, Gryphen. That is why the GOP keeps trying to demonize him. They have become so pathetic with their lies that anyone with an ounce of common sense can see their desperation.

  6. Anonymous5:40 AM

    I have kids in their twenties and a spouse who is a college professor. The evidence that I see suggests that this is true. There will be no Republican Party to speak of even by the time my parents' generation dies off.

  7. Anonymous5:40 AM

    One more thing, though, I would give Republicans more credit for it than Obama.

    1. My son was a he is a Democratic supporter with an independent streak. I think Libertarians (the Pauls especially) deserve some credit for moving people left too.

  8. Anonymous6:21 AM

    President Obama - the best one ever! I see him on Mt. Rushmore! He has been so good in spite of the asshole Republicans in the U.S. Congress obstructing his every move.

    I detest the Republican party and there are many others that do too! I think many of them will be voted out of office throughout the nation in our next two election cycles.

    They are NOT changing their policies - in fact, they are making social issues for women more difficult across the nation.

    I so hope that Hillary Clinton is our next president and that she picks Elizabeth Warren to be the VP candidate to run w/her. Then I could see Elizabeth Warren as the US President thereafter.

    VOTE OUT ALL REPUBLICANS - national, state and local levels. They are damaging us where ever they are in control.

  9. Anonymous8:33 AM

    From the Atlantic article: Dinas found that Nixon voters were subsequently more Republican, and Humphrey voters more Democratic, than peers who hadn’t voted—an indication that casting a ballot makes a person more partisan.

    Perhaps, but the information given also supports the hypothesis that the more partisan a person is, the more likely they are to vote.

    To decide between the two explanations, you would also need to have a measure of the subjects' partisanship prior to the time of the election. Perhaps Dinas did, but this was not mentioned in the article.

  10. Anonymous3:38 PM

    I agree with Griffin. I think Obama is a wonderful leader and man. He is taking the dirt flung at him with class and grace.
    He did not have to make a dirty deal with the Vietnamese to win an election (Nixon.) He did not pay the Iranians to hold US Citizens hostage another 100 days to get elected (GH Bush/Reagan.)
    He has not lied us into a war without any planning for the execution of it. He is trying to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan without being pulled into Iran. If only we could fire the GOP House members. This country might be saved from the destruction they are heaping on us.


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