Tectonic Political Plates Shifting 18-29 Year Olds
The viability of the Democratic Party depends on strong support levels of 18-29 year old voters across America and especially in North Carolina. This graph from Pew encapsulates the Democratic Party advantage in the last two Presidential election cycles.
Holding the support of 18-29 year old voters is obviously critical to the future success of the Party. The Harvard Institute (yes, that Harvard) has just published comprehensive polling results testing the political attitudes of 18-29 year olds.
Today’s topic is documenting the tectonic shift in the political plates among 18-29 year olds from our generation. The chart that follows summarizes one set of polling questions testing which institutions young people trust. The important comparison is trust all/most vs sometimes/never results. All the time and Never are shown to show the intensity of repudiation. For example, only 2% expect the media to do the right thing all of the time and 39% never expect the media to do the right thing. The “net” in the chart compares what might be deemed the averages of favorable and unfavorable.
The results are startling.
The faith of our generation in government is simply not shared by our younger citizens. Only two institutions, scientists and the military have a net favorable expectation of doing the right thing all/most of the time.
1. The media with the stature of a Cronkite is gone. Good reason why most young citizens report getting their information from other sources than mainstream media. Can the Party get into the game?
2. The “crash” of 2008 has wrecked Wall St.’s image, which may not recover for generations.
3. Every level of government is perceived negatively, with the Supreme Court being the least distrusted institution among the traditional levels of government.
4. In what seems like a profound paradox, only scientists and the military have positive expectations to do the right thing all or most of the time. Only these two groups reach low double digit expectations that they do the right thing all of the time. John Stewart interviewed Neil Degrasse Tyson this week. In the intro, Stewart remarked that public interest in science is making a comeback in America. Astute observation, and correct because younger Americans are losing faith in all the other institutions and are looking for something to direct their confidence in. But the military?
How does our Democratic Party swim upstream in this toxic stream of opinions? More to come.
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