The kids are alright

There's a great graph making the rounds of the liberal blogosphere lately…

As you can see, young voters are increasingly moving into the Democratic column.  The combination of the successful Clinton years followed by the disastrous Bush years seem to have had a rather dramatic impact on the political-thinking of younger Americans.  For Democrats, this is really great news.  Firstly, nothing helps explain voting decisions like Party Identification.  Secondly, this is a really good thing for the long-term.  I'll leave it to Ezra's Political Science-y summary because he does it so well:

Democrats have moved from an 11-point advantage among youth in 2004 to a full 25 points.
That's a remarkable leap. Political scientists argue that the more
often someone votes for a party, the more that preference gets locked
in. Each vote marginally increases your personal identification with
the party you pulled the lever for. Three election cycles, and you're
probably a partisan for life, or something near to it. Which means an
advantage like this, though potentially temporary, also opens the door
to a more enduring electoral edge with this generation.

I guess we can consider this the plus side of the Bush legacy.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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