Republicans Zeroing in on Youth Vote

In this fantastically improbable article about Orrin Hatch writing a song in tribute to John McCain, we find the following lighthearted banter:

Hey- that’s kind of interesting. This guy Mattera must have his finger on the pulse of today’s Young America. While I realign my opinions on young Republicans, I’ll just take a sip of this coff-


Yeah, those themes would make for a snappy tune! Forget this Obama character- this guy has the goods to inspire the youth of America! I bet this guy has a facebook page and everything.

It is to sigh.

You need to find better things to complain about my friend.

I believe your problem is their politics.

But ignore that.

They are right to try and make themselves appealing.

Of course, to Republicans, “young people” means they aren’t on Medicare yet…

Lord, I hope that guy was being facetious.

Just think…posters with Orrin Hatch in jeans and a white t-shirt, red hanky in pocket (you don’t want to know what that means in gay hanky-code, trust me), butt-first to the viewer…

I knew there somethin’ funny about that Orrin fella!

Let’s face it–the Republicans are terrified that this new generation of voters are shifting away from the red-meat pandering and idealogical hypocrisies that they’ve been resorting to for the last decade. Andrew Sullivan has been exploring this dynamic repeatedly: 1 2 3 4 5

From a just released Pew Report:


I just saw that ArchiveGuy. It is almjost entirely because (IMO, the Republicans have become to intwined with the Religious right and their issues and less and less with the principles of Barry Goldwater , based more on individual liberty and limited government.

They’ve confused “Zeroing in on the youth vote” with “Zeroing out the youth vote”.

hey, if that doesn’t work, maybe they could just start another war and zero out the youth altogether.

I would argue its exactly the opposite. There are still plenty of young committed Christians. It’s the Goldwater brand that’s being rejected. Kids today are just more community-minded. The old every-man-for-himself philosophy of the 80’s and 90’s just doesn’t play that well anymore.

I think the social conservative side is damaging to the young as well. I’d never go so far as to say that it’s easy to be gay now, but many many of even my very conservative friends are ashamed of the anti-gay scare issues that Republicans have flogged over the last few years. They see it as symptomatic of a general intolerance within the Republican party which the canny conservatives among them see as a danger to the future of the party.

This graph is interesting, and if you are a boomer Republican, scary:

I think that at least 3/4 of the trend in that graph can be explained by many young people who would otherwise be Republican supporters turning away because of George W. Bush and his minions. A half-way decent Republican in the White House (such as John McCain) would turn much of that trend around.