Saturday, November 26, 2022

Good Commentary on Youth Vote and Its Significance for Future U.S. Elections

Good commentary I've just read on the youth vote in the recent U.S. elections and what it may signify for the future:

In her "Letter from an American" today, Heather Cox Richardson parses the results of the recent elections — e.g., Mary Peltola's victory over Trump-endorsed Sarah Palin for one of Alaska's seats in the House of Representatives — as signifying that we are "at a sea change moment in American history." She writes,

Gen Z—the generation born after 1997—is racially and ethnically diverse. Its members want the government to do more to solve problems than it has done in their lifetime, and they are now politically awake. That generation looks much like the Millennials from the generation preceding it—those born between 1981 and 1996—and both groups strongly favor Democratic policies.

John Yang, "Higher young voter turnout in midterms changes approach to major political issues," does a great job of explaining why young voters, who will be 40% of the electorate in 2024, are now so energized to vote — while the Republicans won the vote of those aged 40+ by 10 points in the recent elections. In the PBS News Hour video featured in this article, Victor Shi of Voters of Tomorrow discusses what's going on with young voters:

The biggest thing that we're seeing in terms of just having conversations with young people and some of the polling that we have seen among young people leading up to the election is the Dobbs decision and overturning Roe vs. Wade, because, at the end of the day, that was the first time that young people, who thought that abortion would be a guaranteed right in their life, was overturned by the Supreme Court.

And then, all along the way, you also saw Republicans engaging in really a sustained effort to attack our lives, starting with abortion, then going into classrooms, controlling what we can say about racial conversations, doing LGBTQ stuff.

So all of these things, I think, contribute to this overwhelming sense among young people that Republicans don't really care about our lives. And so that's one hand. And, on the other hand, you also have Democrats delivering for a lot of the things that young people care about, things like climate change, things like education reform, things like making sure that we have racial justice with the pardoning of people who have simple marijuana possession.

So I think it was this really clear contrast between both parties, one that cared about us and one that didn't. And I think that's why you saw a lot of young people turn out overwhelmingly for Democrats in this election cycle.  

Rich Miller writes, "Abortion’s influence on Illinois politics,"

Most every pre-election poll claimed voters ranked abortion low on their priority lists. Yet, the abortion issue seemed to drive voters to the polls this year. What happened?

Illinois Senate president Don Harmon answers Miller's question:

I think it’s in part because of the way voters responded to [the repeal of Roe v. Wade]. This is the first time in a long time a long-held right has been taken away in such dramatic fashion. I think that did motivate voters but not necessarily the voters we were calling because they weren’t part of the turnout model. So I think when we unpack this, I think you’re going to see some voters, younger voters, younger women in particular, but not just women, who said, ‘I’m not giving up my rights that easily, and I’m going to go vote.’

And I also suspect, and would love to prove it with the analysis of the numbers, something we saw anecdotally going door to door, that women who would traditionally be considered Republican women weren’t thinking about voting Republican because of that issue. And they might have been lying to their husbands, they might have been lying to the pollsters, but they weren’t lying once they got inside the voting booth.

And isn't this odd: as Adam Gabbatt reports, "Crime coverage on Fox News halved once US midterms were over," the U.S. was awash in violent crime right up to November 8, and then all that crime miraculously diminished.

Funny how that happens, is it not? And how the fearsome "migrant caravans" full of ragtag criminals marching up to the southern border miraculously appear right before elections and then are never heard of again until the next election cycle?

Anyone else notice how the price of oil per barral plummeted when the elections had taken place? 

It's almost as if there's a … oh, is connection the right word? … if one could only see it.

If you're in doubt about the primary role super-rich Americans and the corporations they own and control play in pushing our political and cultural lives as far to the right as possible, read Jessica Goodheart, "Kari Lake’s Defeat in Arizona Came Despite Backing From Corporate America." Goodheart states,

If election denier Kari Lake got a drubbing last week, it was despite money that flowed from corporate America to a campaign committee supporting her effort to become Arizona’s next governor. 

Got that? Trump-backed MAGA election denier Kari Lake in Arizona was backed lavishly by donations from Google, General Motors, Aflac, Wells Fargo, Blue Cross Blue Shield, FedEx, Walgreens, Microsoft, Centene Management Company, Koch Industries, Comcast Financial Agency Corporation, AT&T, Pfizer, and Nike co-founder Phil Knight. 

Who runs America and wants total control of its political life and future? They do. Their likes do.

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