Monday, May 29, 2023

Anger Lights a Fire


Nationwide, voter files have been updated and verified and the county and precinct-level data have been gathered and organized, which means that truly data-driven and meaningful analyses are emerging of what really happened last fall.

Catalist, a Democratic data analytics firm, has released "What Happened,"  and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report digs into it. Some of the data supports conventional wisdom, some not (and North Carolina seems even more an outlier from Democratic trends in other purple states). 

This particular observation about young voters may be my strongest takeaway:

After 2008, many assumed that Obama's personal connection with younger voters would transfer to the Democratic Party's candidates in subsequent elections. That didn't happen. Instead, what seems to be driving younger voters to the polls isn't love, but anger. In 2018, Donald Trump's presence in the White House was a motivating factor for these voters. In 2022, anger over the abortion decision was the most likely catalyst for turnout.

Google quotes about anger, and you'll be hard pressed to find anybody praising rage as a productive driver of action. But, hell! The Trumpists made out pretty well with it as their signal emotion, so maybe it's high time the Democrats learn to manage that boiling pot.

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