Republican Presidential Candidate Set to Lose Support Among McCain Voters who Have Died Since 2008

by Joshua Tucker on November 15, 2011 · 9 comments

in Campaigns and elections,Media

There’s apparently a meme developing in the early general election reporting that goes like this: I know Obama is in a difficult position heading into 2012 but I can’t just report on the poll numbers or the fact that everyone knows incumbents have a difficult time getting re-elected when the economy is doing poorly, so I’m going to seize on some piece of information that’s out of context to be “another sign” that Obama is in trouble.

My post last week in regard to the AP’s claim about supposed fund raising problems for Obama was a good example of this type of reporting. Today’s nominee comes from Adam Nagourney’s NY Times article about the fact that college students who volunteered a tremendous amount of time to campaign for Obama in 2008 do not plan to devote the same amount of time to volunteering for him in 2012. How does he know this? By citing polls among college students in 2011 and comparing them to polls among college students in 2007? Of course not – he interviews a number of college students who devoted a lot of time to campaigning for Obama in 2008, and finds, lo and behold, that these four people are not going to campaign for him as actively in 2012! Of course, this is entirely due to the fact that they no longer are as enthusiastic about Obama as they were in 2008, and not, say, because now they have a job or are looking for a job. Here’s my predictions for other things people who were freshmen and sophomores in 2007 will not be doing in 2012 because they have graduated from college:

  • Sleeping in until 11:00 AM regularly
  • Starting new clubs on campus in an effort to bolster their resume
  • Eating their meals in a cafeteria
  • Writing papers until 2:00 AM in the morning
  • Taking their laundry home to their parents’ house over the holidays (Ok, maybe not so sure on the last one).

I’m sure all of these changes in behavior are due to declining enthusiasm over Obama as well. Point being, let’s compare apples to apples here, which is the same point I made previously in my post on funding. In Nagourney’s defense, he does do this once with a useful piece of information, which is that the ratio of students at University of Nevada – Las Vegas who are members of the College Democrats to College Republicans has dropped dramatically, from 3:1 to about even, which is comparing apples to apples. An entire article looking at trends in membership in College Democratic and Republican clubs – especially in swing states – would be interesting to read indeed.

All this aside, I am still eagerly anticipating a serious look at Romney’s expected difficulty in securing votes from McCain supporters who were over age 65 in 2008 – the only age cohort to favor McCain in 2008 – due to their troublesome habit of dying in greater numbers than the rest of the electorate. Stay tuned!

{ 9 comments }

Tobin Grant November 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I thought I was looking at an Onion headline for a moment. Well-said.

A Conservative Teacher November 15, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Or maybe the young people are waking up to the fact that voting for Obama was a bad call for them- they now are going to have to buy health insurance after age 25 even if they don’t need it (to help subsidize the old people), there have been no reforms to social security and Medicare and so these programs move closer to collapse (this is more on the Democratic Party, since Obama has been open to this), debt is being piled up that is going to lower the quality of life of young people (interest going to China, less soverignity due to owning money to banks and other nations, etc), and economic numbers are horrible with young people (unheard of unemployment, record numbers living at home, etc).

America’s youth will rue the day that they voted for Barack Obama.
http://aconservativeteacher.blogspot.com/2011/04/americas-youth-will-rue-day-they-voted.html

Davis X. Machina November 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Shorter Conservative Teacher: “Behold, the Young Farts!”

Chris G November 15, 2011 at 5:50 pm

The idea that there are people who “don’t need health insurance” is simply bonkers.

William Ockham November 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm

I actually think that the Republicans do have a problem with their dying base. Just graph out the partisan split by year of birth (Pew has some numbers that allow you to compare 2004 to 2008 to see the pattern). As the Reagan generation (people who turned 18 some time during Reagan’s presidency) starts dying off, the Republicans are in trouble. They have consistently lost the Clinton and both Bush generations in every election. That’s a 20 year stretch of voters that they will never be able to win. Given that the generations that follow will be predominantly minority, I think the Republican party has a real problem that they aren’t addressing.

David Littleboy November 16, 2011 at 8:03 am

“As the Reagan generation (people who turned 18 some time during Reagan’s presidency) starts dying off,”
Uh, you’ll be having a long wait. Folks who were born 1962 to 1970 won’t even begin to think of dying off for at least another 28 years, which is the life expectancy at 50 which none of them have turned yet. Heck, I turned 18 a full decade before the Reagan presidency and am planning on hanging around another 25 years, thank you.

Wilson McTeague November 16, 2011 at 11:11 am

What a brilliant premise by the NYT in regard to student volunteers from the 2008 Obama campaign. I was one of those student volunteers, and I can tell you I’m not going to volunteer this time around. Why? Well, having a full time job, bills, and other responsibilities I didn’t have in college, I simply don’t have time to volunteer. I could volunteer locally on weekends this time around, but now my weekends are busier than they were when I was in school. Additionally, Obama doesn’t need my help in my state, it’s an easy win for him.

A Conservative Teacher November 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Chris, you might want to think that you know everything about everybody and have the power to control their behavior- but you’re wrong. A large number of people (estimates range from 10-40 million) voluntarily choose to not pay hundreds of dollars a month for health insurance. They make free choices, usually because they are young and in good shape.

You don’t like that though- you want to make them pay for healthcare, because then you can pretend that you’re some sort of good guy who has done something good for them, meanwhile their money is going to be going to older people to keep the costs down, so you can pretend that you did something good for them.

You’re a bad man, Chris, and even worse for pretending that you are otherwise. Freedom, choice, individual responsibility, and protection of people’s property is the better way to go.

Chris G November 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm

“Chris, you might want to think that you know everything about everybody and have the power to control their behavior”

No, I don’t think that at all. I think that even people under 26 can get sick or injured and need medical care, and that it is better that they have insurance, so that when they get sick or injured and need medical care, they can get it without worrying about whether they can afford it, or without the costs of an ER visit being borne by increasing the cost of others’ medical care and insurance. In fact, I don’t think these things, I know them as assuredly as I know that the sky is blue and that my desk is wooden.

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