Monday, February 15, 2016
Pew Research Center: The Big Questions
Do Obama’s failures outweigh his accomplishments? And who will prevail on health reform - Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, millennial voters (18-34 year olds) or perennial voters (those above 35)?
I awoke this morning asking these questions, in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death and the impending battle to nominate this successor?
For guidance, I turned to the Pew Research Center, who has conducted two major sets on polls on these matters: “Overwhelming Share of Republicans Say Obama’s Failures Outweigh His Achievements” and “A Deep Dive into Party Affiliation.”
On January 21, 2016, Pew Addressed the failures versus achievements issue.
Overall, among the general populace, 39% said the failures outweighed the benefits while 61% said the opposite along party lines.
Among Republicans and Democrats it was lopsided.
Republicans, 5%, 88%
Democrats, 74%, 19%
Independents, 36%, 52%
I am assuming these same percentages apply to health reform. Keep in mind, however, that 39% of Americans now say they are independent while 32% declare themselves Democrats compared to 23% avowed Republicans. This is largest percent of independents since Gallup began polling on the issue.
Which brings me to the millenials, aged 18 to 34, the largest demographic segment at 25% of the population.
Who will they vote? Well, according to an April 17, 2015 Pew Report, “A Deep Dive into Political Affiliation,” 51% of the Millenials are Democrats and 35% Republicans. And, in separate polls, in keeping with the revolution against the Washington establishment, 46% of illenials ways they will vote for Bernie Sanders while 35% will opt for Trump.
To me these percentages all come down to time-worn political issues: the idealism of youth vs. the realism of the seasoned, the upper classes vs the lower classes, the affluent vs. the working and poorer classes, the inequalities of capitalistic blessings vs. the miseries of socialistic economic stagnation.
Will voters choose to follow the America model of egalitarianism, liberty, or individualism , or the European model of equality for all, to-down control, and collectivism?The jury is still out. But according to Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, the American model not longer holds the upper classes, who look with condescension at those below them, and this in the working classes who look with contempt at those above them. Where the millienials fit into this growing gap may determine the next election and the future of health reform.