Friday, December 11, 2015

Republicans also losing the youth vote

That is, in addition to women, minorities, and those sane Republicans still left out there.  A couple of Texas anecdotes worth repeating.

Just over a month ago C.J. Pearson was a 13-year-old conservative social media sensation, booming support for Sen.Ted Cruz. Now, he has not only disavowed conservatism, he is the new youthful voice of the Sen. Bernie Sanders campaign.

“They used to call me a conservative wunderkind. Now, I’m just CJ. The semi-exciting independent from GA feeling the Bern,” Pearson wrote, in his updated Twitter bio.

Pearson shot to conservative stardom in February with a viral video questioning President Barack Obama’s love for the United States. It gave Pearson a massive social media following, which Cruz targeted in September when he named Pearson the chairman of Teens for Ted.
Pearson’s stuck with the Cruz campaign from Sept. 8 to Oct. 31. He abruptly left the position, asserting that Cruz “wasn’t doing enough to address the issues important to young people like student loan debt and youth unemployment.”

And this one.

The Texas state director of Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush's young donor program has quit and is planning to join the campaign of Democrat Martin O'Malley.

Shooter Russell, a University of Texas sophomore who since June had held the formal role with Bush's "Mission: NEXT program," told the Houston Chronicle he made the switch because of the GOP's opposition to people fleeing war-torn Syria.

"The final nail in the coffin were Trump's comments on Muslims, the inaction by the party, and our very own state's actions on blocking Syrian refugees," said Russell, who added that he has cousins who do mission work in the Middle East.

As state director, Russell said he oversaw about 80 volunteers at 15 chapters across the state, set up phone-banking plans and helped organize an event featuring Bush's son, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Now, he said, he is planning to travel to Iowa to campaign for O'Malley...

Probably doesn't mean much of anything, a 13-year old high school freshman or a 19-year old college undergrad changing their minds and  switching parties.  After all, they're no Sarah Slamen.

In a related post, Zach Taylor points out that if Bernie Sanders is on the ballot, then so is the minimum wage, and there is evidence demonstrating that issue drives non-voters to the polls.  How many young people of voting age work for minimum wage?  Glad you asked.  Pew Research tells us that the number of Americans aged 21-30 who work for more than the minimum wage but less than $10.10 an hour (which, coincidentally, happens to be very close to what the minimum wage would be if it only kept up with inflation) is 35.2%, using year-old data.

If I were supporting Hillary Clinton, for example, I might concerned about the fact that she supports a minimum wage increase to $12, while Sanders calls for $15, and a productivity adjustment from the late 1960's to 2012 would dictate a minimum wage of nearly $22 dollars an hour.

We're also not going to entertain any whining from the "job creators" when there is proof of prosperity for all when the wage gets raised, and especially not when they're stashing trillions offshore and performing mergers and tax inversions as fast they can.

You paying attention, Democrats?  Here's another clue to electoral victory in 2016.

Since nonvoters tend to be younger, less white, poorer and more mobile than voters, this isn’t entirely surprising. But one reason these findings are so striking is that voters and nonvoters hold broadly similar views on a range of other controversial issues. Christopher Ellis, an assistant professor of political science at Bucknell, tells me that gaps on issues like abortion, immigration, and gun control are comparatively modest (he is supported by Pew research). But economic issues are different.

It's always been the economy, stupids.  People vote their pocketbook, and when nobody's talking about their pocketbook, they don't vote.

Progressive candidates -- from the Democratic or the Green Party -- who can speak with conviction about raising the minimum wage, who can contrast the overwhelming majority of all Americans who support raising it against the corporations who oppose, while renouncing their U.S. "citizenship" and shifting profits offshore to avoid paying their fair share of taxes (a tab the rest of us have to pick up) as deserters, or traitors to America ... win.

That's a campaign platform all by itself.

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