Tuesday, December 4, 2018

It's the Generations, Stupid

One thing people keep underestimating it seems to me, is the significance of generational change. Politically, it is huge. Take a look at the chart below from Catalist, particularly the data on those 45 and under--which currently includes MIllennials, Post-Millennnials and the younger part of Generation X (which most data show are quite similar to older Millennials in their attitudes and political behavior). The data on whites under 45 is especially amazing.
Then read the new piece by Ron Brownstein on the CNN site on the GOP's generational gamble. Tell me that this isn't a party in some serious trouble--and probably sooner than most think.
"Trump is...committing the GOP to a strategy of squeezing more advantage from groups that are shrinking. All of the major data sources on the electorate's composition -- from the Census Bureau to the exit polls to Catalist -- agree that the share of the vote cast by Trump's core group of whites without a college education has been declining by about two percentage points over each four-year presidential cycle. With turnout among minorities and college-educated whites surging, Catalist's preliminary analysis found those working-class whites, while still the electorate's largest single group, dropped fully five points as a share of the vote this year, compared to the last mid-term in 2014.
One thing no political strategy can reverse is the tide of generational replacement. As not only the World War II and Silent Generations, but also more baby boomers pass out of the electorate, the share of the eligible voting pool comprised of Generation X, millennials and Post-millennials is inexorably rising. The States of Change project forecasts those three generations -- which are much more racially diverse and college-educated than the generations they are replacing -- will continue growing to about two-thirds of eligible voters by 2024 and nearly three-fourths by 2028. More voters mean more consequences if Republicans can't soften the recoil from the party that younger voters displayed last month."

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