Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Left's Secret Weapon

That would of course be academia...

Tenured Radicals Coming Home to Roost? [Andy McCarthy]
Preliminary indications are that the youth vote (ages 18-29) was way up: an increase of somewhere over 2.2 million (maybe way over) from 2004 (a year in which it was very high), and as much as 13% over 2000. The Left's dominance of the academy is now having a material impact on electoral politics. As we think about the future of conservatism, we ignore that at our peril.
Roger Kimball's new edition of Tenured Radicals seems like an excellent starting point for that urgent discussion.
11/05 03:21 PM

Despite the regularity of this claim (it is usually combined with some knowledge of an effort to drum conservatives off campus. Oddly, it seems the business schools seem to often be the recipient of a substantial administrative attention) McCarthy may be correct in that the conservative movement stands to lose major ground in the future, based mostly on demographics.

Often voters absorb the political winds of the time they grow up in, and generally stay with the party they begin voting for. 

The youth vote went substantially in President-elect Obama's favor, about 70% to 30% for 18-29. Those voters are likely to continue to trend in this same direction. In 2000 the youth split between Sen. Gore and Gov. Bush, 48% to 46% with Ralph Nader picking up the difference. In 2004, the youth vote went to Sen. Kerry with 54% to President Bush's 45%. 

So, in 8 years the size of the vote increased as well as the percentage voting Democrat. That can't be comforting for McCarthy and others.

As for the impact of college, that's still up in the air. About 1/2 of the 18-29 year-olds in America did not attend college. But of those who voted in this year's primaries, 79% attended college. 

So at best, we can be sure that college attendance boosts voting, but given the election night outcome, is the increase in youth votes for Democrats a natural reflection of a changing country? 

- Murphy

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