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Author: Subject: So, Who Was President When You Were 18?

Zen Peach





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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 04:27 PM
Interesting piece from Nate Silver...

quote:
Bush May Haunt Republicans for Generations
by Nate Silver @ 2:49 PM

Gallup has some fascinating data out: http://www.gallup.com/poll/118285/Democrats-Best-Among-Generation-Baby-Boom ers.aspx?CSTS=alert based on more than 120,000 interviews they've completed over the past four months, on the way that partisan identification breaks down by age:



Democrats, somewhat unsurprisingly, have the largest partisan ID advantage among Gen Y'ers, followed by among Baby Boomers. Republicans do relatively well (although are still at a net disadvantage) among Generation X'ers.

What's interesting, though, is what happens when we look at not these abstract generational categories, but rather at the following question: who was President when you turned 18? As annotated in the chart below, the popularity -- or lack thereof -- of the President when the voter turned 18 would seem to have a lot of explanatory power for how their politics turned out later on:

Partisan ID Gap, Based on Identity of President When Voter Turned 18


It's become common knowledge that the younger generation is highly predisposed toward Democrats. (Actually, that's not quite right -- they're more predisposed against Republicans than they are toward Democrats -- but the net effects on their voting behavior are probably about the same.) What's more remarkable, though, is how sharp the increase in the partisan ID gap becomes at about age 25. People aged 26-34 are pretty Democratic, put people aged 18-25 are really Democratic.

The former group came of age in the Clinton Era. Clinton, in the public's mind, is usually regarded as an average-to-slightly-above-average President, and the voters who came of age during his Presidency are associated with an average-to-slightly-above degree of Democratic affiliation.

The 18-25 year olds, however, came of age in the George W. Bush Era. And Bush, at least the vast majority of us think, was not a good President. In fact, most of us would say, he was a really awful President. And the people who turned 18 during his tenure are associated with extremely low levels of Republican identification.

The reason this is a real worry for the Republicans is because you can still see the echo of past Presidencies on the partisan ID trends today. Popular presidents are associated with above-average levels of party support among the generation that came of age during their time in office, whereas unpopular Presidents are associated with below-average ones. Moving backward in time:

George H.W. Bush, a roughly average President who was generally quite popular until roughly the last 12 months of his tenure, is associated with a slightly above-average amount of Republican support.

Reagan, a highly successful President who was popular throughout most of his term and may be even more popular today, is associated with a considerably above-average amount of Republican support.

Carter, a mediocre-to-average President, is associated with slightly below-average levels of Democratic support.

Ford, a mediocre-to-average President, is associated with average or slightly below-average levels of Republican support.

Nixon, who was reasonably popular before the Watergate Scandal broke but who is generally regarded as a very poor President today, is associated with below-average levels of Republican support.

Johnson, whose complicated time in office is generally regarded today as having been an above-average Presidency, is associated with generally above-average levels of Democratic support.

Kennedy, who was very popular throughout his brief tenure in the White House, is associated with above-average levels of Democratic support. (You can almost see the spike in popularity among 64- and 65- year olds, who would have been about 17 when Kennedy took office.)

Eisenhower, a popular and effective Republican president, is associated with significantly above-average levels of Republican support.

Finally, we get to Truman and Roosevelt, where things seem to break down a bit. Truman is regarded quite favorably by historians today but was unpopular for much of his tenure; he is associated with average-to-slightly-below levels of Democratic support. The numbers then bounce around a bit for FDR, perhaps because there aren't all that many people in their mid-80s and so the sample sizes are small.

In general, however, this points toward the idea that partisan identification -- while not exactly being "hard-wired" -- can be quite persistent as the voter moves through her lifecourse. Voters who came of age during the eight years of the Bush Presidency are roughly eight points more Democratic than the rest of the country; that advantage could be worth an extra point or two to Democrats throughout the next half-century.

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/05/bush-may-haunt-republicans-for.html

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan



 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 06:28 PM
Nixon was President when I turned 18 and the first Presidential election I was able to vote in was 76 Ford-Carter.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 06:34 PM
Carter was President when I turned 18 and I enthusiastically first voted for him in '80. I'm still upset about that outcome.

Nate Silver is a really smart guy. I enjoyed his analysis during the past election.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 06:48 PM
Old Hickory, Zachary Taylor.....

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 06:51 PM
quote:
Old Hickory, Zachary Taylor.....




Not Dubya?


















George Washington.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 06:52 PM
quote:
quote:
Old Hickory, Zachary Taylor.....




Not Dubya?


















George Washington.



I'm not that old...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:02 PM
LBJ

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:10 PM
Nixon was prez.

Didn't really follow politics much, though I remember him losing popularity after kidnapping Patty Hearst.

or sumptin' like dat.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:16 PM
"Tricky Dick" Nixon

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:26 PM
Reagan


Wasnt a fan

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:27 PM
Slick Willy.
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:37 PM
Billy Carter's brother was President when I turned 18.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:47 PM

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:49 PM
Who can forget billy beer?






 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 07:53 PM
My brother and I somehow had those beer cans when we were kids.
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 08:01 PM
Billy Carter? Sang? Who can tell?






 
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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 08:46 PM
quote:
Billy Carter? Sang? Who can tell?









Lee you are on to something here. Throw a pair of those thick frame glasses on Sang. Awfully close.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 09:14 PM
Tricky Dickey "I am not a crook" Nixon.

I cheered when he resigned!

Next Election I was a volunteer working on student registration for the Carter Campaign.
Making sure all the students got their absentee ballot applications in on time for
the fall election.

Never met Bill or Hillary.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 09:21 PM
Raygun for me....

Interesting article, Bhawk....thanks for posting

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 09:40 PM
George W Bush

Next election I voted for Obama

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 10:36 PM
I turned 18 in 77, so Carter was Pres.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 10:37 PM
Oppps, guess i'm a Ford man.

thought Nixon was in office when i was 18, but it was Ford.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 10:58 PM
Jimmah Carter, whom I voted for.

 

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  posted on 5/11/2009 at 11:18 PM
I turned 18 when Mr. "Bedtime for Bonzo" Reagan and his astrologer were
grappling with the Iran Contra Scandal. As Frank Zappa once called
Reagan..."A NARCOLEPTIC PINHEAD".

 

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  posted on 5/12/2009 at 12:18 AM
Reagan had just been elected when I turned 18. I didn't pay much attention to politics till almost 10 years down the road, so I thought he was just wonderful [reagan] things have sure changed.

[Edited on 5/12/2009 by pops42]

 
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