Massive Generation split in 2010

Massive Generation split in 2010

November 2, 2010

Imagine a progressive Democratic majority of 60 votes in the Senate, 250-185 in the House, and NO arch-conservative new senators like Rand Paul (Kentucky), Marco Rubio (Florida), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), and Rob Portman (Ohio). That’s America if voters under age 30 ran the country.

Now, imagine a far-Right Senate with a 54-46 Republican majority, featuring not just the GOP’s gain of six seats in the 2010 midterm election, but also new Senators Christine O’Donnell (Deleware), Sharon Angle (Nevada), Joe Buck (Colorado), Carly Fiorina (California), Joe Miller (Alaska), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), and Linda McMahon (Connecticut), plus an 65-vote House Republican majority. That’s America if only Americans 65 and older ruled. Elder voters were willing by landslide margins to elect extremist candidates who supported privatizing or phasing out Social Security and Medicare for future seniors, abolishing major federal agencies, and even violence if politics failed to achieve their goals.

CNN’s state exit polls from the 2010 midterm elections show that age has supplanted both gender and income, and is approaching race, as the biggest predictor of voting. In a few key Senate races:

  • Nevada: Voters age 18-29 supported Democrat Harry Reid over Republican Sharon Angle by a margin of 58-33%; voters 65 and older supported Angle by 54-42%.
  • Delaware:  Age 18-29 supported Democrat Christopher Coons over Republican Christine O’Donnell by a 60-36% margin; age 65 and older backed O’Donnell by 54-45%.
  • Kentucky: 18-29 supported Democrat Jack Conway by 52-47%; seniors voted for Republican Rand Paul by 58-42%.
  • Colorado: 18-29 supported Democrat Michael Bennett by 55-41%; seniors supported Republican Joe Buck by 51-44%.
  • California: 18-29 supported Democrat Barbara Boxer by 65-29%; elders supported Republican Carly Fiorina by 52-45%.
  • Pennsylvania: 18-29 voted for Democrat Joe Sestak by 60-39%; seniors voted for Republican Pat Toomey by 58-42%.
  • In Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Missouri, voters under age 30 strongly supported Democrats, while older voters overwhelmingly voted Republican

CNN’s national exit poll of 15,332 voters showed a gigantic, 38-point split in favor of Democrats in voting by those age 18-29 versus elders 65 and older. Voting shades steadily and sharply from Democrat to Republican from young to older age. Age substantially trumps gender but lags behind Black and Latino race/ethnicity as a predictor of progressive voting. Yet, age/generation remains an unexplored factor in progressive analysis.

National vote by age. 15,332 respondents (based on House races)

Demographic group      Democrat      Republican    Other/No Answer

By age group
18-29 (10%) 58% 39% 3%
30-44 (22%) 48% 50% 2%
45-64 (44%) 46% 52% 2%
65 and older (24%) 39% 58% 3%
By detailed age group
18-24 (5%) 59% 38% 3%
25-29 (6%) 56% 41% 3%
30-39 (13%) 49% 48% 3%
40-49 (19%) 45% 53% 2%
50-64 (34%) 47% 51% 2%
65 or Over (24%) 39% 58% 3%
By gender
Male (48%) 43% 55% 2%
Female (52%) 49% 49% 2%
By race
White (78%) 38% 60% 2%
Black (10%) 90% 9% 1%
Latino (8%) 66% 33% 1%
Asian (1%) 55% 40% 5%
Other (2%) 54% 43% 3%
By race and gender
White Men (38%) 36% 62% 2%
White Women (41%) 41% 57% 2%
Black Men (4%) 84% 14% 2%
Black Women (6%) 93% 6% 1%
Latino Men (4%) 62% 37% 1%
Latino Women (4%) 69% 29% 2%
All Other Races (4%) 55% 42% 3%
By income
Under $30,000 (18%) 57% 41% 2%
$30-50,000 (19%) 53% 45% 2%
$50-75,000 (21%) 46% 52% 2%
$75-100,000 (15%) 42% 56% 2%
$100-200,000 (19%) 43% 55% 2%
$200,000 or More (7%) 37% 61% 2%