June 27, 2007

Gratuitous Politickal Posting: Silly Poll Division

Yes, I know. It's the NY Times. But they really take the cake for this headline: "New Poll Finds Young Americans Are Leaning Left".

Oh, and guess what? Water is wet.

I mean, Duuuuuuhhhhh. Really? Historically speaking, the fact that voters under 30 lean Left is pretty much a given. Why? You're talking about a demographic that is either currently in or not far removed from a state of total dependency on their parents. Many of them have very little sense of responsibility or long-term consequences. And if you're looking for an age bracket where the concept "if it feels good, do it" is most appealing this is pretty much it. So an ideology that advocates dependency on government, has an inherent disregard for personal responsibility and long-term consequences and preaches attitudes like "if it feels good, do it" is pretty much a natural fit.

In other words, this is not news.

All that being said, I found some real gems in this piece. For example:

[The poll] found that substantially more Americans ages 17 to 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidential race. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats.
In this 21st century world of the 24/7 news cycle, being only familiar with Obama and Clinton means that whatever attention they are paying can't be very much. They grew up with Nurse Ratched in the White House and the past six years has been a constant whirl of speculation - "Will she or won't she?". Obama is the new "it" candidate with pictures of him shirtless on the beach showing up on magazine covers and a video of a buxom "Obama Girl" recently going viral.

Of course, the rationale for this is presented much further down in the article:

That a significant number of respondents said they were enthusiastic about just two of the candidates Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton to a certain extent reflects that both candidates have been the subject of a huge amount of national attention and have presented the country with historic candidacies. Mr. Obama would be the first black president and Mrs. Clinton the first woman.
This is a good one:
[Young voters] have continued a long-term drift away from the Republican Party.
Yeah, right. They've been such a staple group for the GOP. That's why they voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry two years ago (while comprising only 17% of the total voting population).

Here's an unexpected finding, though, that should annoy the moonbats (check out the twist at the end):

But when it came to the war, young Americans were more optimistic about the outcome than was the population as whole. Fifty-one percent said the United States was very or somewhat likely to succeed in Iraq, compared with 45 percent among all adults. Contrary to conventional wisdom, younger Americans have historically been more likely than the population as a whole to be supportive of what a president is doing in a time of war, as they were in Korea and Vietnam, polls have shown.
Forty years out from the original "summer of love", the aging ex-hippies at the NY Times must be having long-term memory problems. Because I don't recall hearing about all that staunch support for Lyndon Johnson by the yoots of that era over the war in Vietnam. Maybe it's my imagination but I seem to remember reading about young voters "cheering" on their President with such colorful ditties as "One, Two, Three, Four. We don't want your f*#ing war!" and "Hey, Hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?"

Now you'd think that this poll must be pointing to some kind of trend considering how the article is written. Nah, not really. Way down towards the end, the writers kind of kick the legs out from under that theory:

Over the last half century, the youth vote has more often than not gone with the Democratic candidate for president, though with some notable exceptions.
So again, what's the story? Really, there is none. The most important aspect of the article is the headline, which is intended to be a statement briefly glanced at to reinforce the idea that 2008 should be a big year for Democrats.

The other question it's designed to raise is "will young voters turn out big for Democrats?" The answer is impossible to determine from these results because the sampling makes this what I call a "garbage poll" - 659 adults ages 17 to 29. Not likely voters. Not even necessarily registered voters. Just 659 people, probably sitting at home watching the latest footage of Paris Hilton leaving prison.

Posted by Gary at June 27, 2007 09:50 AM | TrackBack