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April 17, 2007

Edwards and the Kids

What vaguely surprises me about the netroots' affection for John Edwards is that it has no generational corollary. Among young Democrats, Edwards is at 9%, well below his national polling average (generally around 15%). Now, I know that the netroots aren't all kids, but given their educational and information-gathering characteristics, I'd always assumed they'd track semi-closely with the preferences of younger voters. Apparently not.

April 17, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

What's the over/under on the number of defensive responses you get about the big lefty blogs having a relatively high median age?

Posted by: Petey | Apr 17, 2007 3:46:56 PM

I just read that Obama leads with 18-24 by a large margin. I am not a younger voter by any means but, I am not alone in the plus 40s in supporting Obama. Actually, at a rally I attended there was a large amount of older people. And younger people are flocking in droves. I mean, when you attract thousands (20,000 in atlanta the other day and last night in Milwaukee - 4,000), you are going to have a strong across the board support.
The reason for Edwards in the netroots is there has been a bloggers effort the past 2 weeks to thrash on Obama and cheerlead for Edwards. Actually, most bloggers are in love with Edwards thinking him the great populist. I don't trust it as a year ago he was still strongly center right and I read in the Boston Globe today that he kept pushing a stick with your vote for the war with Kerry. This is what helped with the wishy washy Iraq stand of Kerry in 04.

Posted by: vwcat | Apr 17, 2007 4:06:02 PM

I spend a lot of time around people that are about 23-24 years old and they do seem to like Obama. I get the impression that they see him as a candidate that they could actually get excited about, a la the way people always talk about RFK in 1968 (no idea if that perception is accurate or not, but it's definitely the perception).

They also seem to have very little grasp on actual policies/positions of the various candidates. They seem to be responding to Obama's personality - he seems young, urbane, hip.

Note that I am NOT saying that Obama supporters are less informed than Edwards supporters. I haven't run into many Edwards supporters of comparable age so I couldn't possibly compare.

Posted by: Jason | Apr 17, 2007 4:10:15 PM

It's also worth keeping in mind that young Democratic women are supporting Clinton in larger numbers, and that young Democrats not in college are as well. All of which seems to add to the perception that's growing with me that Edwards and Obama serve to weaken each other and strengthen her, and that Edwards is the real weak link here - appealing on paper (especially photo paper), but not able to close the deal.

Posted by: weboy | Apr 17, 2007 6:46:01 PM

I get the impression that younger voters by and large aren't thinking about poverty and unions, whereas the netroots are far more conscious of those.

Posted by: Jade | Apr 17, 2007 11:03:53 PM

Speaking as a young Edwards supporter, surrounded by young Obama supporters, I'd say it has everything to do with image. Edwards looks too focus-grouped, too shiny--he looks like the candidate that you're supposed to like. He looks superficial. This naturally drives young 'uns away. Obama, on the other hand, looks interesting and hip. It's quite frustrating, given that in terms of policies, its Obama who's all empty platitudes and Edwards who has substance. C'est la vie.

Posted by: heresiarch | Apr 18, 2007 5:41:23 AM

Teehee. I'm an "old geezer" Gen-Xer, and I can take this opportunity to grump about "kids these days" if you like. It's actually kind of fun.

The big thing is, "Yer all a bunch of sheep! Mindlessly braying into yer "myspaces" and yer "text messages!" In my day we'd've never stood for this, can't you see it's a sham put out by the electronics corporations working with the record labels to track your shopping habits? You've got so many shiny toys you forget to ask what others are gaining, and by extensiton, what you're giving away! And furthermore, what it means is that you're being ever more conditioned to be good consumers! Packaging is everything, and if someone markets to you successfully you think it's empowering you! You suckers! And where's yer counterculture?! You got no way to rebel, no way to get out from under the man! Didn't you ever tell anyone to fuck off? Give it a try, it's..."

And here the irrelevant listener of grunge and one time reader of newsprint 'zines fades off as our cast of modern readers has left him behind with puzzled and mildly sympathetic looks, unaware that someday they too will watch the lessons they learned be blithely disregarded by the next bunch of young turks to come around the generational turnpike. Lol.

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Posted by: judy | Sep 28, 2007 4:50:47 AM

I get the impression that younger voters by and large aren't thinking about poverty and unions, whereas the netroots are far more conscious of those.

Posted by: GuildWars money | Dec 21, 2008 3:49:47 AM

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