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Will young people vote...in 2018?

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    In the 2008 election, Barack Obama won over John McCain largely with the help of near record turn-out by a demographic that historically has not voted in large numbers: the 18-29 year olds. In 2008, 52 percent of the eligible 18-29 olds turned up to vote, and they voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.

    In the 2010 midterm election, that demographic dropped off to just 24 percent giving the House of Representatives to the Republicans.

    In the 2012 presidential election, again almost 51 percent of the 18-29 year olds voted to ensure that President Obama was re-elected. Without their support, he would have lost to Mitt Romney.

    In 2014, however, only 19.9 percent of young voters showed up to vote giving control of the Senate to Republicans. It was the lowest rate of youth turnout recorded in the past forty years.

    As a former precinct chair I have been painfully aware of the difficulties of getting this demographic to vote in midterm elections when a populist presidential candidate was not on the ballot. I personally tried really hard knocking on doors of young people and getting rebuffed.

    I'll share two articles with largely contrasting viewpoints. The first (Huffington Post) provided a positive perspective of youth voters after the 2012 election when they did show up to vote. The second (Washington Post), provides a negative view of youth voters after the 2014 election when they didn't show up.

    Huffington Post, March 20, 2013: The Social Generation: The Youth Vote and the Future of Progressivism

    Washington Post, July 23, 2015: Where are all the young voters?

    You can read the articles and pick out what you like and don't like. I have seen both sides of this demographic, but I have to say I was feeling especially bitter after the 2014 election, and cast much of the blame on this demographic. If I were to find one word to describe the 2014 youth "non-voter" it would be apathy.

    Maybe both articles are correct. In 2012 there was still "hope". In 2014, that hope seemed more impossible as the "Party of No" continued to block Obama's initiatives on jobs and education. So many of them that I encountered blamed Obama and not Republican obstructionism.

    Bernie Sanders, if nominated, has said that his political revolution would continue in 2018 if he hadn't achieved the necessary majorities, including a veto proof 60 in the Senate, in Congress in 2016. That may be commendable, but is it realistic? Will the Bernie Sanders revolution advance in 2018...or fall back?

    In so far as Hillary Clinton is concerned, much of that demographic (maybe a third) will not support Hillary anyway, so maybe the question is moot in her case.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt please read the "Salon" article(s) P.R. published. It shows that both parties are in a steep decline. Also the unfavorable rate of the still standing candidates is at an all time high. So your story does not change that. Clinton nor Trump nor Cruz represent the "thinking" people"; thus electing any of these, then this country is doomed for sure.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I read the article and responded. Now I suggest you read an old blog article of mine:

    Democratic Hub, May 18, 2015: The Strategy behind the “Party of No” to obstruct job growth

    The Republican Party operatives have been highly successful in dividing Democrats by obstructing job growth. I wrote that article because in my canvassing for Obama and Democrats, it was my fellow Democrats who largely blamed Obama for their plight on not finding the right job.

    Now I would add Bernie Sanders to the list of politicians who are dividing Democrats with promises that cannot be kept. Ignorance of how government functions is in abundance on both the far right and the far left.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Here's an extract from the Washington Post article above:

    "One common narrative is that in 2008, young people got overly psyched about the potential for Hope and Change. Then, when they inevitably became disillusioned by hopeless and changeless Washington, disgusted millennials checked out of America’s political system."

    "This oversimplifies things, but it is true that over time young people have withdrawn from traditional social and political institutions, including everything from political parties to churches. In polls, millennials say they trust almost no authority figure to do the right thing most or all of the time: not Congress, not the president, not the Supreme Court, not the media, not Wall Street and definitely not federal, state or local government. Mired in debt, with scant job prospects, young people feel abandoned by the organizations that once claimed to represent their interests. Perhaps as a result, millennials have elected not to participate in the elections that grant such figures their authority. Only a third of young people say their vote will “make a difference” anyway, according to the latest Harvard Institute of Politics youth poll."

    Are these now the views of the young people comprising Bernie's "political revolution"? How about the "Donald Trump revolt" within the Republican Party? I only ask as I struggle to understand this demographic (18-29 year olds) and what motivates them.

  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Do you seriously think Hillary will keep any of her promises? Without Bernie pushing her to the Left she would still be for the TTP, against prison reform (don't forget all that money she gets from the pay for prison lobby), sucking up to Wall St and the bankers (oh, they do support her financially, don't they)! She is fraud, get over it! We need her to keep the Presidency but that's all she's good for (other than padding her and Billy's bank accounts)!
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    PR -- this post is about how committed young people will be to vote in the midterm election of 2018. Will they turn out for Bernie in 2018 if he is elected? History doesn't seem to suggest it.

    Regarding "promises" I went down the list of Bernie's "I will's" from his speeches and they are quite extensive. However, to his credit I notice now in his website that he has changed many of those "I will's to "we need's" and "we must's". Is he hedging?

    Both Hillary and Bernie need a compliant Congress to help meet their pledges to their voters. Hillary seems to be working that part of the problem more so than Bernie.

    So what about 2018?

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    This demographic staying home in 2010 virtually guaranteed that Republicans will run the House until 2020 due to the way they gerrymandered the districts in the various states they took control of.

    Thankfully 2018 isn't a census year, so the stakes aren't as high. But if this demographic stays home in 2018 then the Republicans will be the winners. Republicans win when voter turn out is low; Democrats win when voter turn out is high.

    Far too many people in this county need a civics lesson. If you don't vote then you can't bitch about the outcome of elections.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:

    This demographic staying home in 2010 virtually guaranteed that Republicans will run the House until 2020 due to the way they gerrymandered the districts in the various states they took control of.

    Thankfully 2018 isn't a census year, so the stakes aren't as high. But if this demographic stays home in 2018 then the Republicans will be the winners. Republicans win when voter turn out is low; Democrats win when voter turn out is high.

    Far too many people in this county need a civics lesson. If you don't vote then you can't bitch about the outcome of elections.

    I voted many times; so then I'm allowed to bitch. 2016, 2018, 2020, if things related to elections stay the same, things will only get worse. As long as "money" drives these elections, we will end up like "Rome". At least some people on the site are aware that drastic changes are necessary to make this country "governable" again. So I'll bitch; enjoy.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    What will drastically change elections is to do away with Citizens United. To do that you have to change the make-up of the Supreme Court because the chances of getting a Constitutional Amendment passed are pretty slim.

    To get the Supreme Court changed, you need to elect Democrats...lots of them, especially to the Senate, but also to the presidency. To do that you have to play the money game...SuperPacs, etc. Democrats have rich people too that can play the Republican game.

    Sorry, but a $5 a plate fund raiser with a bunch of young people at MacDonalds or Chipotle is not going to cut it.

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    What will drastically change elections is to do away with Citizens United. To do that you have to change the make-up of the Supreme Court because the chances of getting a Constitutional Amendment passed are pretty slim.

    To get the Supreme Court changed, you need to elect Democrats...lots of them, especially to the Senate, but also to the presidency. To do that you have to play the money game...SuperPacs, etc. Democrats have rich people too that can play the Republican game.

    Sorry, but a $5 a plate fund raiser with a bunch of young people at MacDonalds or Chipotle is not going to cut it.

    In other words; because some others do things the wrong way then everyone else has to do it the wrong way too. So the neighbor died; I have to dig a hole for him as well one for myself. Great solution. You point out with this statement,what is exactly wrong with this country. So once they get rid of Citizens United, then they don't raise money any more? You must be kidding. It is and remains an big open sore.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Dutch Wrote: I voted many times; so then I'm allowed to bitch. 2016, 2018, 2020, if things related to elections stay the same, things will only get worse.

    Have things gotten worse since 2007 and 2008? We went through the worst recession this country has weathered since the Great Depression and now have an unemployment rate of 5.0%. The European Union is grappling with an unemployment rate twice the size. (I'm looking forward to reading your response that blames America for that.)

    Dutch Wrote: As long as "money" drives these elections, we will end up like "Rome". At least some people on the site are aware that drastic changes are necessary to make this country "governable" again. So I'll bitch; enjoy. ?

    Money has always driven politics. Name any point in human history after money was created and I'll give you an example of those in power who have money doing everything they can to consolidate their power.


    Bitch all you want. That's what's great about this country. You can actually bitch about things without getting arrested or hanged for it. You prop up Russia and China as shining examples of governance, but both of those countries stifle free speech and "disappear" political dissenters within the blink of an eye.

    This is a complicated world. Blaming America for everything that you're angry about is juvenile. Do you want to move back to a predominately white country that is the size of a couple American cities, takes advantage of NATO protections, and doesn't allow anyone to emigrate there? Go ahead and do it. No one is stopping you. (Just so you know...I'm talking about your homeland.)

    We are a melting pot here that has over 300 million people of all sizes, shapes, colors, religions, and pretty much everything else. You can't say that about any other country in the world.

  • Independent
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    I do not expect that any so-called revolution will last through the 2018 mid-terms. Unfortunately Bernie overstates his belief in his revolution. As for Hillary I do not expect her to govern as anything but a center-rightist. She lacks the conviction of a transformational president. The same applied to Obama. Despite issues such as the aca and gay marriage the reality is the system underpinning inequality and financialization has not significantly changed with his presidency. Yes, the aca and gay marriage are good but these represent transactional forces as opposed to transformational. The status quo meaning the non-elected elites will use whatever means possible to maintain the system. One doubts that they have been disappointed by obama's presidency. Oh, the Republican Party bleats reactionary populism based upon fear as well as the bogeyman of the moment, the financial crisis and those who caused it along with daesh but they truly do not care about such things excepting perhaps daesh. Tax cuts, militarism and that old time revulsion, sorry, religion, are still the drivers.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote:
    Dutch Wrote: I voted many times; so then I'm allowed to bitch. 2016, 2018, 2020, if things related to elections stay the same, things will only get worse.

    Have things gotten worse since 2007 and 2008? We went through the worst recession this country has weathered since the Great Depression and now have an unemployment rate of 5.0%. The European Union is grappling with an unemployment rate twice the size. (I'm looking forward to reading your response that blames America for that.)

    Dutch Wrote: As long as "money" drives these elections, we will end up like "Rome". At least some people on the site are aware that drastic changes are necessary to make this country "governable" again. So I'll bitch; enjoy. ?

    Money has always driven politics. Name any point in human history after money was created and I'll give you an example of those in power who have money doing everything they can to consolidate their power.


    Bitch all you want. That's what's great about this country. You can actually bitch about things without getting arrested or hanged for it. You prop up Russia and China as shining examples of governance, but both of those countries stifle free speech and "disappear" political dissenters within the blink of an eye.

    This is a complicated world. Blaming America for everything that you're angry about is juvenile. Do you want to move back to a predominately white country that is the size of a couple American cities, takes advantage of NATO protections, and doesn't allow anyone to emigrate there? Go ahead and do it. No one is stopping you. (Just so you know...I'm talking about your homeland.)

    We are a melting pot here that has over 300 million people of all sizes, shapes, colors, religions, and pretty much everything else. You can't say that about any other country in the world.

    Jared, you must be kidding; in the Netherlands you have an even worse mixture of people than here. Sure it was not that way when I was a kid. But things have changed; even the major of Rotterdam is an Marrocan. Plenty of mosques around as well, plenty of Polish, Ukrainian people and Africans. Related to NATO you are mistaken; because of stupid agreements they are bound to help us with our created stupid wars; thus not the reverse. Typical American media twisting. Again I repeat this country will go to hell fast if we continue on this path. We will be at war forever; once ISIS is destroyed then similar groups will definitely pop up all over the place so then we'll have to fight those etc. I doubt if the rest of the world will bow for US demands either. The remainder of ISIS and others who we are droning will seek revenge for sure. All of this together will make us a broke country without any infrastructure and end up like Rome did. Learn to look at this country from the outside, not from cozy Oregon.