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David Leonhardt, New York Times, February 25, 2018: The Left Is Energized. Now It Needs to Vote.
Leonhardt addresses a topic that is one of my hot buttons. As a former precinct chair, my Democratic colleagues and I said "never again" as we looked at the results of the disastrous 2010 midterm election. We said we would go all out in 2014 to reach the voters who went fishing (or something else) on election day in 2010...especially the young people. I wore out my knees and legs climbing apartment stairways to seek out young people. We really tried...and failed.
As the graph in the Leonhardt's article shows, only 16 percent, one of every six citizens, in the 18-29 year olds voted in the 2014 election. On the other hand, 55 percent of the 60 plus generation voted. The former largely leans liberal...the latter largely conservative.
The biggest obstacle I found was voter apathy. I just could not connect with young people knocking on their doors and interrupting whatever they were doing. That all changed in 2016 as the Bernie movement brought out a massive participation of young people in the caucuses. So I give kudos to Bernie for energizing them.
Now I am optimistic for a large voter turnout in the midterm caucuses (Colorado's is March 6th) to select the Democratic Party's nominee for governor. I expect not only young people but also women and anyone who hates Trump's immigration policies. However, I still have anxiety about the whole thing. I attended and run caucus meetings as precinct chair, and while I appreciated the passion of those who attended, what was always conspicuous to me were the voters who were absent. Those parents with kids in school or people who had to work. It was just always older retired folks like me whose kids had long left home.
Bernie, of course, changed that, and the 2016 caucus had lots of very young college and high school kids to compliment us "gray haired" folks on the other side of the room. There were very few of the 40 somethings in between.
My worry about the caucus selection process is that the demographics of the people attending the caucuses are not the same demographics of the people who will be voting on election day. We'll see how it turns out. I just hope we can pick a candidate for governor that appeals to moderates and independents and not just the progressives.