Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bernie Sanders [and Ron Paul] and Millennials, again.

In my two most recent posts, I suggested that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders's apparent success in connecting with young voters during the current Democratic primary race has some parallels with the popularity that Ron Paul enjoyed among Millennials during his Republican presidential campaign four years ago. Now, I see that Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight has offered some analysis and stats on this very phenomenon. Here is a bit of what Silver has to say:
Just as "socialism" is becoming more popular with young Americans, so is another label that implies a highly different set of economic policies. Americans aged 18-29 are much more likely than older generations to have a favorable view of the term "libertarian," referring to a philosophy that favors free markets and small government. Indeed, the demographics of Sanders's support now and Ron Paul's support four years ago are not all that different: Both candidates got much more support from younger voters than from older ones, from men than from women, from white voters than from nonwhite ones, and from secular voters than from religious ones. Like Sanders, Paul drew more support from poorer voters than from wealthier ones in 2012, although that's not true of libertarianism more generally.

. . .

What’s distinctive about both the Sanders and Ron Paul coalitions is that they consist mostly of people who do not feel fully at home in the two-party system but are not part of historically underprivileged groups. On the whole, young voters lack political influence. But a young black voter might feel more comfortable within the Democratic coalition, which black political leaders have embraced, while a young evangelical voter might see herself as part of a wave of religious conservatives who long ago found a place within the GOP.
To read the rest, click here. AMDG.


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