Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

November-09-12

Massive Age Gaps in Voting for 2012 Elections

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation



For years, young voters have been discounted and labeled as apathetic no shows when it comes to voting. After 2012, the age gap will be ignored at a politician's peril. In 2012, according to exit polls, nationwide voters 18-29 years old comprised 19% of the electorate while voters over 65 years comprised 16% of the electorate. Most importantly, the voting patterns of the young and the old were mirror images of each other on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as well as on key Senatorial candidates and ballot measures.

In the presidential race, 60% of voters 18-29 years old voted for President Obama while only 44% of those over 65 did, creating a 16% age gap. In key Senate races the pattern persisted. For example, in Indiana, 18-29 years olds were 20% of the electorate compared to 14% for the over 65 group; the young voters supported the Democrat, Joe Donnelly, over Republican Richard Mourdock (infamous for his comment that "god intended" pregnancy from rape) by 53% and the older voters by 43, creating a 10% age gap. The age gap was even larger in Missouri for incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill (D) against challenger Todd Akin (R) of "legitimate rape" fame. McCaskill had the support of 69% of the young voters and only 41% of the voters over 65 years for a whopping 28% age gap. In Ohio, the voters ages 18-24 were 17% of the electorate and voters over 65 were 18%. The young voters supported incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown (D) by 64% while only 46% of the older voters supported Brown, an 18% gap. An almost identical pattern existed in Pennsylvania's Senate race, where incumbent Senator Bob Casey (D) defeated challenger Tom Smith (R).

The age gap on marriage equality ballot measures in four states is more like an Age Canyon. Massive age gaps emerged in exits polls in all four states with two-thirds of voters 18-29 voting in favor of marriage equality and only one-third of voters over 65 doing so. The breakdown of the age gap in each state was:

  • Maine: 68% of voters 18-29 years of age voted for same-sex marriage and only 44% of the over 65 were, for a 24% age gap.

  • Washington: 65% of voters 18-29 years of age voted for same-sex marriage and only 39% over 65 voters did for a 26% age gap.

  • Maryland: 70% of voters 18-29 years of age voted for same-sex marriage and only 36% of over 65 voters did, for a 34% gender gap.

  • Minnesota: 67% of voters 18-29 years of age and only 36% of the over 65 group voted no on the state constitutional amendment to only recognize marriages between one man and one woman, making a 31% age gap.


The age gaps were massive and indicate a tremendous cultural change being driven by younger voters. In each of the four states, voters under 40 were overwhelmingly in favor of the equal marriage position while those over 40 were not. There were also significant gender gaps in all four states with women voting in favor of marriage equality and men rejecting it.

Media Resources: CNN 11/7/2012; Feminist News Wire 11/7/2012,11/8/2012


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

12/18/2014 New Jersey is Inching Closer to Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Statewide - The Assembly Budget Committee of the New Jersey state legislature approved a paid sick leave bill Monday by a 6-4 vote. If the bill is passed, New Jersey workers will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. . . .
 
12/18/2014 American Apparel Hired Its First-Ever Woman Chief Executive to Replace Dov Charney - Six months after retail store American Apparel fired its chief executive and founder Dov Charney, the company has hired retail executive Paula Schneider as a replacement. Schneider, who will become American Apparel's first female chief executive, will take over the position as of January 5. Charney had led American Apparel since 1998 and became well-known from American Apparel's sexist advertising and from several sexual harassment lawsuits and sexual assault accusations against him by former employees. . . .
 
12/18/2014 Obama's Judicial Appointments Most Diverse in History - Congress came to a close on Tuesday night with the Senate confirmation of 12 new federal judges and 12 executive appointments - including Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General, Sarah Saldana as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Tony Blinken as deputy Secretary of State. . . .