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Under-25s in Wisconsin Vote Walker

The U.S. News and World report has an interesting look at Tuesday’s election in Wisconsin:

According to Crossroads Generation, a group dedicated to reaching young people with the messages promoting individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise, in the recall election Walker carried the vote of those under the age of 25.

“According to exit polling,” the group said, “for voters aged 18-29, the Democrats’ advantage among this group was cut in half compared to 2010. While Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett held a ten-point advantage among 18-29 year olds in the 2010 election, that gap was reduced to five points in Tuesday’s election.”

Younger voters were a significant presence in Tuesday’s election. Voters under the age of 30, Crossroads Generation said, made up 16 percent of all voters in the recall election, a higher proportion than in the 2010 gubernatorial election.

This could be big. Via Meadia has long covered what we call the blue model’s “War on the Young”, and we’ve often wondered why the kids haven’t yet caught on. In Wisconsin, Big Blue needed votes to maintain the high costs (and pensions) that reduce services for young people and that, for example, keep incompetent teachers in their jobs for life no matter how many kids suffer.

The youth vote has swung left in recent years. This is a natural response for a generation that grew up under George W. Bush — a man whose presidency did more to re-energize the American left that Saul Alinsky could have dreamed. The vote in Wisconsin — if the Crossroads Generation analysis holds up — could be a sign that this trend is beginning to change.


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  • Anthony

    Wisconsin election may have been argument that had resonance for under 25 voters; if analysis holds then 25 and under voters may have demostrated recognition of future interests vis-a-vis governance issues – one sample does not a trend make.

  • Gopackgo

    I saw somewhere the the 18-25 vote actually went for walker. Don’t quote me on that but I am proud of my state for finally taking it to the public sector unions!

  • Heather

    I agree this one sample does not make a trend. Most likely the youth vote will again be strong for Obama in November

  • thibaud

    More cherry-picking and laziness from Via Meadia.

    How does Mr Mead explain those other exit polls that show SIXTEEN PERCENT of all Walker voters expressing their intention to vote for Obama in November?

    Obviously, a large number of liberal or centrist, pro-Obama Wisconsin voters considered the recall to be an inappropriate vehicle for this particular dispute, and were happy to vote for Walker without such a vote signifying anything about their preference on the fundamental policy issues re. more or less government.

    If the economy continues to slide, then Obama will be swamped in November, no less than the incumbent party’s candidate was swamped four years ago.

    If unemployment stabilizes or declines, and if as expected Helicopter Ben delivers covering fire for a major stock market rally, then the election will be extremely close – and Obama will likely win.

    All the demographic changes favor the democrats. As Nate Silver has demonstrated, there are only a handful of states that will decide this, and Romney would have to sweep all of them to win.

    This will only happen if the economy tanks, or the Obama micro-targeting and GOTV machine shows itself to be incompetent. No idea on chances for the former, but the latter’s very unlikely.

  • Michigan Lady

    While this is an interesting piece of data, and one that I hope is accurate, there is one consideration that has not been mentioned. Colleges are out of session for the summer and, therefore, potential voters in that age group were not there to vote. This will not be the case in November.

  • Mike_K

    thibaud, have you seen the May jobs numbers?

    You might enjoy this video.

  • Jon Burack

    You chid Mead for cherry-picking and then you quote exit “polls.” The exit polls in Wisconsin were worthless. They showed a close race just an hour before everyone declared it a blowout for Walker. I recommend you pick some cherries from a different tree.

  • hitnrun

    “How does Mr Mead explain those other exit polls that show SIXTEEN PERCENT of all Walker voters expressing their intention to vote for Obama in November?”

    The same pollsters whose operations produced a 50/50 split in the exit polls?

    One thing is certain: if Obama wins in November, WRM will square his analysis with reality, as he always does; but if Romney prevails, his sage hecklers in the comments will be nowhere to be found until they resurface in May to profess outrage at Mitt Romney’s cozy ties with Wall Street or unconstitutional use of drones.

  • Lance Gilmore

    I was drawn to your story by the headline and lead paragraph, and hoped it was true as you said that Walker had carried that youth segment of the vote, but lo and behold, the story goes on to show that his opponent won that segment by 5%, an improvement by Walker from a 10% deficit in the prior election, but still Walker did not “carry” that group, he lost it by 5%. Very shoddy stat work by a media watcher.

  • sane_voter

    This is good news. Obama is a disaster like Jimmy Carter, and the combination of Reagan’s positive view of American exceptionalism with Carter’s inept leftist policies drove young voters to the GOP in the early 1980’s. We could be seeing a repeat of this trend in 2012.

  • Mike

    @thibaud, the exit polling was all junk – they clearly oversampled DEMs. Why are you still quoting it?

  • randy

    The Republicans neocons are the ones that ruined our economy and its as.if we stupid Americans are falling for.their lies again

  • bryan weaver

    Am I missing something?
    The headline says voters under 25 voted for Walker. But the source quoted in the article itself refers to voters 18-29. And it doesn’t say Walker carried them, just that he cut into Barrett’s lead.

  • Winston Churchill

    If you are liberal at age 17, you don’t have a heart.

    If you are not conservative at age 40, you don’t have a brain.

    Sounds like the younger generation in Wisconsin is advance for their age.

    Good for them. They saw with their own eyes the actions and reactions. They reason and know if they want opportunity and provide for themselves and their family (and want a future), a “redistribution” of someone else’s $ won’t do it. They understand, the those on the receiving end of someone else’s redistributed wealth only want more of it next year.

    I don’t think the youth will vote for POTUS BO in Nov. They won’t want to prove they are stupid.

  • Vickee

    This is a trend. A good one. I am beginning to think young people are indeed wise. Like us seniors..

    I hope these same young people will join the Young REpubicans, and vote for MITT.

  • Just ME

    Just as the exit polls showed a tie, this exit poll also is wrong.

    There’s one thing that is a feature of liberals: they love to spend other people’s money. But when it comes to paying the tab, they cry poor and point the finger everybody else. Mass is a great example of this. You have the fake Native American for US Senate, who in her own right belongs to the evil 1% who passes on the optional higher state income tax and you have the long face Senator, loser of 2004, parking his yacht in Rhode Island to dodge a $500k+ property tax bill.

    Liberals are not stupid people. They can perform math computations and are starting to figure out that the hat is coming their way. They are starting to see that there is no way they can get out of paying for a government they want but don’t want to pay for.

  • Len

    If you check the linked story from US News, it specifically states: “…in the recall election Walker carried the vote of those under the age of 25.”

  • thibaud

    @ #11: Mead and I both make our case on exit polls. Either they are, as you assert (with no evidence) “all junk” – in which case both Mead and I are wrong to even mention them – or else you compare Mead’s exit poll data with my exit poll data. The latter is what I did.

    Mead cites a shift of five points. That’s within the margin of error for an exit poll, hence not valid.

    I cite a sample that is 16% of Walker’s total vote. If this figure is too high by five points, then you still have 11% of Walker voters intending to vote for Obama in the fall. Walker won by significantly less than 11%, so this is hugely important. He owed his victory, in other words, to Obama voters. It’s obviously a lot more complicated than a simple referendum on the size or extent of state government.

    Two additional, and hard, data points in support of this thesis:

    1. All the opinion polls in Wisconsin in late May showed Obama comfortably ahead of Romney, by 8 and 6 points, respectively. Again, this fits with the Walker/Obama split-ticket exit poll data I cite.

    2. Gov. Kasich in Ohio put forth a referendum on issues almost identical to those in the Wisconsin recall – and the GOP was blown out of the water, by over 20 points. Obviously, the stupid decision in Wisconsin to make the issue a recall rather than a referendum was crucial to the vast difference between the results in WI and the results in OH.

    You can keep on believing all you like that the American electorate is against a generous safety net, but the facts don’t support you. The votes are tired of graft and grifters, not government. There is next to no support in the nation for Paul Ryan’s ludicrous budget.

  • Bobcat3

    The generation that all got trophies is in for a bitter realization,They are the one being borrowed against.

  • Andrew P

    It is rational for an Independent or Moderate voter to vote against the recall and yet still vote for Obama. States are currency users and must balance their budgets. A vote for Walker is a vote to keep property taxes down. The Federal Government is a sovereign currency issuer and NEVER has to balance a budget. Federal deficit spending and Fed money printing is floating the stock market. Most Independents have 401K’s, and vote their portfolios.

    ““How does Mr Mead explain those other exit polls that show SIXTEEN PERCENT of all Walker voters expressing their intention to vote for Obama in November?”

    The same pollsters whose operations produced a 50/50 split in the exit polls?”

  • Patrick Henry

    The jig is up. Cronkite lied to us for 40 years or so and lost a war, then Jennings, then Rather. All done, the jig is up. They can’t get away with lying to us anymore cause now we have Drudge and FOX and Rush and Lucianne and Beck and MMalkin and Breitbart and NewsMax and Savage and Townhall and the Daily Caller. Until this Fascist Regime shuts us down by Executive Order.

  • Patrick Henry

    What? Checking me for moderation? Naw, checking for censoring.

  • Tammy

    CNN published the full list of the exit polls. The group 18-24 was won by Barrett. The group 25-29 by Walker. Overall the group 18-29 was won by walker. I may have confused the two groups, but not the overall. Goto CNN and search for Wisconsin recall exit poll data.

  • Tammy

    sorry I messed up the numbers, but here is the full exit polls resuls

  • Ivy

    Unofficial polling of my UW student son says Madison fervor for Obama has lapsed into apathy. With unemployment for people under 30 so high, it is hard to imagine the kids going for Obama in November. They realize that “hope and change” doesn’t’ mean anything.

  • UW Student

    I voted Walker. TFTC.

  • CobbleHill

    Per Thibaud,comment number four, I would reference Lakshman Achuhtan’s website, Their public indicator is tanking. So they are already saying there will be a recession. And then they are saying, the future after that does not look bright.

    Of course, they could be wrong. Or not.

    As of now the weak economic growth is being driven by people spending down their savings and (perhaps) letting their credit card balance rise.

  • thibaud

    Nice to see all the denial here. The fact remains that Walker was put over the top by votes who intend to vote for Obama in November.

    Here are the latest 2012 presidential election polls of Likely Voters in Wisconsin summarized by RealClearPolitics (RCP):

    RCP Average 5/9 – 6/6 Obama 48.8 Romney 44.0 Obama +4.8

    Individual polls since May 26:

    WeAskAmerica 6/6 – 6/6 Obama 48 Romney 43 Obama +5

    Marquette University 5/23 – 5/26 Obama 51 Romney 43 Obama +8

    WPR/St. Norbert 5/17 – 5/22 Obama 49 Romney 43 Obama +6

    Now, we can interpret this split-ticket reality in different ways, but the one thing that you cannot infer is that the swing or split-ticket, Walker+Obama voters support a radical slash-and-burn approach to government on the Tea party model.

    Sorry, folks, Paul Ryan’s budget is loony. It will never get majority support in this country.

    Roll back corrupt public union contracts? Heck yes.

    Destroy the safety net in this country? Get lost.

  • Wm.

    Here’s a clue. Those under 25 have bought the line that they are on their own, that they have no stake in government, that they generally have little stake in their larger community, that is boiled down to the belief that they won’t see any social security. It’s the same attitude that manifests itself in the belief that they don’t need health insurance either. Draft them and send them to war, and suddenly they’ll get a clue about the larger community and their stake in the government.

  • BV

    Is “trend” the correct metaphor? Or would pendulum be more appropriate?

    American politics is regressing into a state where we’re perpetually unhappy with whoever it is we’ve elected, and we wish to install the new guy/girl a.s.a.p. This schizophrenia is heightened in poor economic times, as our idolatry is exposed. To borrow from Francis Schaeffer, the only thing we require of our governing elites is to give us back our life form. If Obama can’t do it, then the pendulum swings to Romney, etc.

    Who wants to be President in this environment? I get the feeling that Obama doesn’t.

  • texas58

    Randy, you are a fool when you say it was the Republicans who ruined the economy. The housing bubble was built on democrat policies, having the highest corporate tax in the world is certainly not a Republican idea. And most deficit spending has by far been done by democrats. In case you don’t remember, the house of representatives is where spending bills get their start. Whenever the house has been in democrat hands, those are precisely the years the deficits have jumped the worst! Please learn something before you post such horribly incorrect statements.

  • Standfast24

    Interesting how the left wants to draw differing conclusions to the exit poll data. Yes, lets ignore the shift under 25 voters to Walker – but shout from the roof tops about Obama’s strong standings.
    Barone has stated that the polls over sampled Dems and adjusting them to a correctly weighted model shows Romney and Obama tied.
    How many students and younger voters who voted Dem in 2008 and 2010 find themselves unemployed, or fearful of the future. Hope and Change was the ultimate empty slogan.
    So a shift in younger voters could make sense.

  • Lorenz Gude

    I think too much is being read into this exit poll by commentators on both sides. It is pretty clear it was flawed and I think it is way overdoing it to give it much predictive value for the 2012 election, much less long term demographic trends. Things are seriously in flux and this is just a tiny data point of dubious accuracy. I don’t know if the poll was intentionally skewed to favor the Democratic party, but I do know it put forward a picture that would tend to play to the hopes of Democrats. Its emotional message would read something like this: ‘Walker might win but only by a small amount and in any case Obama’s lead for November is safe’. When any poll seems to give excessive aid and comfort to one party or the other my [profanity removed] meter moves into the orange
    .. And I’ll bet that both parties will be spending quite a bit extra on private polling trying to determine what is actually going on in Wisconsin.

  • JohnR22

    There is no way Obama gets either the youth turnout or the percentage of votes he got last time. 2008 was a perfect storm that will not be repeated.

    That said, most kids are on the Left; it’s a function of being young, inexperienced, and idealistic (they fall for the Left’s blather about compassion and fairness). But, I’m convinced that this generation…like every single generation before it…will drift to the Right on issues of taxes/unions/govt. Once they’ve…you know…grown up.

  • Anne

    The fact that the college students aren’t in school is significant. College students get to vote twice: once in the town where their parents still live, by absentee ballot, and again in the town they are going to school in.

    If the Secretaries of State around the country were doing their job, this would be prosecuted of course. but when the SOS is nothing more than a Democratic party operative, it’s allowed.

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