In the West, the next generation turns blue
The Denver Post has a great editorial by our pals Matt Singer and Steve Fenberg. They take an interesting look at the changing demographics of the West:
The Millenial Generation, generally characterized as Americans born between 1978 and 2000, is the largest in American history. And as Millenials grow up and enter the voting booth, they are reworking the political landscape of the Mountain West.
In Montana, Millenials are credited with Sen. Jon Tester's margin of the victory. These voters made up 17 percent of the electorate and went for Tester over Republican incumbent Conrad Burns 56-44, according to exit polls.
In Arizona, Jim Pederson lost to Republican Jon Kyl, but young voters broke for Pederson by 15 percent.
In Wyoming, a state that hasn't sent a Democrat to Congress since 1978, Gary Trauner nearly upset Barbara Cubin. If young voters had their way, Trauner would be Wyoming's new congressman. They backed Trauner by 16 percent.
Here in Colorado, young voters went for John Kerry over George W. Bush, the only age bracket to do so.
Just seven years ago, Republicans had a near lock on the region, holding every governor's office in the region. One by one, they've fallen to Democrats so that Democrats now hold the governorships of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico - a solid trail of mountain states tracking from Canada to Mexico.
It should come as no shock that this Democratic ascendance would track closely with the coming-of-age of the region's Millenials. The instincts of the Millenial Generation are at direct odds with the Sagebrush Rebellion mentality that has governed the West for the past 30 years.
Your Personal Note:
shows that Kerry would have won if the election was decided by voters ages 18 to 29. Nevada and Colorado would have flipped to Kerry, as would nine other states in the Midwest and South. Maine, however, would have flipped to Bush.
The rising generation is looking at the cost of housing and medical care and not liking what they see. Moreover, even without a draft the War in Iraq cannot but hurt the GOP with the youth vote.
The most important point is that a whole generation may sour on the GOP because of the Bush administration.
Posted by: Leo Brown | Jul 11, 2007 1:08:22 AM
Political scientists observe that if a young person votes in three successive elections for the same party (before they reach the age of 30), then their political affiliation is pretty well cast for the rest of their life. It appears then that progressvies and the Democratic Party will lock up this millenial generation with the next election. Here in one baby-boomer who is absolutely dedicated to making sure that happens!
Posted by: Frederick | Jul 11, 2007 5:45:09 AM
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(and yes, we know that sometimes they're very, very wrong. Other times, they're right on.)