• What if Obama Voters Remember How Lousy the Obama Era Was?

    The left worries that young people and minorities don’t hate Trump enough.

    By James Freeman

    Oct. 12, 2018 5:01 p.m. ET

    Former President Barack Obama campaigns for Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania last month. PHOTO: MATT ROURKE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

    During the Obama administration there was much confident chatter on the left about the “coalition of the ascendant.” This rising population of young people, social liberals and minority voters not only carried Barack Obama to two national victories but was allegedly destined by demography to exert an increasing leftward tug on American politics. The potential problem for leaders of this coalition is that along the way some of their followers may have noticed the results of their policies.

    A few warning signs have been appearing lately as the Obama generation makes it way into the workplace and as minority voters seem unwilling to hate President Donald Trump as much as Democratic politicians and the press expect them to do.

    “It’s time for some alarm about the midterms,” writes David Leonhardt of the New York Times. “The most recent polls have underscored the real possibility that Republicans will keep control of both the Senate and House.” According to Mr. Leonhardt:

    Democrats now appear highly unlikely to take back the Senate, which was always going to be hard for them, given the conservatism of the states holding Senate elections this year. And while Democrats are still favored to win the House, many races remain so close — with neither candidate yet polling above 50 percent — that they could break either way in the final weeks. It’s easy to see a scenario in which many Democratic-leaning voters fail to turn out, as often happens in the midterms, and many Republican-leaning voters remain loyal to the party.

    How could turnout possibly be a problem for Democrats, given all of the rage from professional leftists directed at Mr. Trump? Apparently amateur leftists aren’t as angry and in many cases may not even be leftists.

    Mr. Leonhardt writes that a big challenge for Democrats is “their apparent inability to win big margins among Hispanics.” His column in the Times makes clear that Mr. Leonhardt isn’t the only one concerned about the lack of ill feelings toward our duly-elected President:

    “The fact that Donald Trump is viewed in a relatively favorable light by as many as 1 in 4 Hispanic voters should be alarming for Democrats,” León Krauze, of Univision and Slate, writes, “but it’s not even their biggest problem. That would be turnout.” Ron Brownstein, of The Atlantic and CNN, quotes a pollster making a similar point.

    As the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman tweeted, “Why do Dems have a serious midterm problem w/ Hispanics? Lower-income/young/urban Hispanics just aren’t that motivated to vote. And guess who’s left: higher-income/older/suburban Hispanics who aren’t nearly as reliably Dem.”

    It also remains unclear how strong the turnout of younger voters will be. As Ariel Edwards-Levy of HuffPost has noted, many Americans under 30 believe that people should not vote unless they’re well-informed about politics. Americans over 65 tend to believe all citizens should vote, regardless of how informed they are.

    It’s almost as if the coalition of the ascendant isn’t really a coalition at all but a large, diverse group of individuals who make independent voting decisions. Is it possible that some members of the coalition have noticed today’s ascendant economy and compared it to the one they lived through when their coalition was in charge?

    “Gen Z Is Coming to Your Office. Get Ready to Adapt.” That’s the headline on an interesting recent Journal report on young people joining the U.S. workforce. It also raises interesting questions about what will happen as they enter the voting booth next month and in 2020. The Journal’s Janet Adamy reports:

    About 17 million members of Generation Z are now adults and starting to enter the U.S. workforce, and employers haven’t seen a generation like this since the Great Depression. They came of age during recessions, financial crises, war, terror threats, school shootings and under the constant glare of technology and social media. The broad result is a scarred generation, cautious and hardened by economic and social turbulence.

    Gen Z totals about 67 million, including those born roughly beginning in 1997 up until a few years ago. Its members are more eager to get rich than the past three generations but are less interested in owning their own businesses, according to surveys. As teenagers many postponed risk-taking rites of passage such as sex, drinking and getting driver’s licenses. Now they are eschewing student debt, having seen prior generations drive it to records, and trying to forge careers that can withstand economic crisis.

    Ms. Adamy quotes various employers and analysts saying that the youngsters are quick learners with a stronger work ethic than some previous generations. She writes:

    Gen Z’s attitudes about work reflect a craving for financial security. The share of college freshmen nationwide who prioritize becoming well off rose to around 82% when Gen Z began entering college a few years ago, according to the University of California, Los Angeles. That is the highest level since the school began surveying the subject in 1966. The lowest point was 36% in 1970.

    The oldest Gen Zers also are more interested in making work a central part of their lives and are more willing to work overtime than most millennials, according to the University of Michigan’s annual survey of teens.

    Sounds like a group of kids who are focused on winning, not whining. Growing up during the challenging Obama years, perhaps they now understand just how little value identity politics adds to their lives.


    Posted by Dana West @ 5:50 pm for Candidates, Climate Change, Colorado politics, Debt/Deficit, Denver area politics, Economy, Editorial, Education, Elections, Energy, Immigration, Issues, Jobs, Liberal Logic, National politics, ObamaCare, POTUS, Taxes |

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