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Democrats May Not Get Their Turnout for Midterms as Young People Explain Why They Won’t Vote

Democrats May Not Get Their Turnout for Midterms as Young People Explain Why They Won’t Vote

“Why should I vote for a party that doesn’t really do anything for me as a voter?”

The youth vote may determine the Democrat Party’s destiny, which may not be as majestic as the party hopes. New York Magazine published interviews with 12 young people explaining why they probably won’t vote in these midterms.

I’ve seen articles spouting youth enthusiasm for Democrats, but the magazine claimed that “only a third of people ages 18 to 29 say” they plan on casting ballots for the midterms.

A few reasons? The big blow failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took in November 2016. Another feels “like the Democratic Party doesn’t really stand for the things” he believes in. One person gets anxious when he has to mail anything.

Why They Won’t Vote

Tim, 27, in Austin has never voted, but if he did, he’d only consider it symbolic because Texas is a red state. He tried to register to vote for the 2016 election, but he missed the deadline because he hates “mailing stuff” since it gives him anxiety.

Then he brought up his ADHD:

I have ADHD, and it makes it hard for me to do certain tasks where the payoff is far off in the future or abstract. I don’t find it intrinsically motivational. The amount of work logically isn’t that much: Fill out a form, mail it, go to a specific place on a specific day. But those kind of tasks can be hard for me to do if I’m not enthusiastic about it. That’s kind of a problem with social attitudes around, you know, “It’s your civic duty to vote.” I once told a co-worker I didn’t vote, and she said, “That’s really irresponsible,” in this judgmental voice. You can’t build a policy around calling people irresponsible. You need to make people enthusiastic and engaged.

Tim then said he has registered to vote and is “leaning toward probably voting in the midterms.”

A few mentioned THE POST OFFICE. Stamps. Lisa Connors of the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs discovered earlier this month during a focus group made up of college interns that these kids did not know where to buy stamps:

“One thing that came up – which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy – was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Connors told WTOP. “That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

“Across the board, they were all nodding and had a very spirited conversation about ‘Oh yeah, I know so many people who didn’t send theirs in because they didn’t have a stamp,'” she said.

Anna, 21, explained to the magazine that she has tried to register in her hometown of Austin, TX, but hates the “tedious process:

When I was at the post office to register, this poor girl, clearly also a college student like me, didn’t know what “postmarked” meant and had no idea how to send an important document by mail. Most people my age have zero need to go to the post office and may have never stepped into one before. Honestly, if someone had the forms printed for me and was willing to deal with the post office, I’d be much more inclined to vote.

(Wait until you get in the corporate world, Anna! You’ll have a blast with mortgage forms, health insurance forms, retirement forms, etc.)

Megan, 29, last voted in 2014, but insisted that since she moves and rent a lot causes confusion:

I rent and move around quite a bit, and when I try to get absentee ballots, they need me to print out a form and mail it to them no more than 30 days before the election but also no less than seven days before the election. Typically, I check way before that time, then forget to check again, or just
say “Fuck it” because I don’t own a printer or stamps anyway. It’s incredibly difficult for hourly workers or young people who are in rotational programs or travel frequently for their careers to vote.

(You can go to a UPS or FedEx store where you can print out the forms AND purchase stamps. I’m pretty sure those exist in San Francisco, CA.)

Political science student Reese, 23, doesn’t seem to consider voting as important and has “never felt certain enough to vote” and doesn’t “want to help something that might end up being wrong.”

Drew, 21, had a reasonable explanation:

I feel like the Democratic Party doesn’t really stand for the things I believe in anymore. Why should I vote for a party that doesn’t really do anything for me as a voter? Millennials don’t vote because a lot of politicians are appealing to older voters. We deserve politicians that are willing to do stuff for our future instead of catering to people who will not be here for our future. I’m a poli-sci major, so talking about politics is a daily thing for me. Half of the people I talk to seem very into voting. The other half are people who, like me, don’t really feel represented. The only thing they choose to vote in is local elections.

Drew has a point. I refuse to vote for someone just to say I voted. I wanted Ralph Nader in 2000 (yes, I used to be a major leftist) and Oklahoma didn’t have write in ballots. I could only choose between Gore and Bush. I wrote Nader’s name in the margin.

A Sign of Things to Come?

Enthusiasm does not mean the youth will actually cast a vote. Saying you will vote doesn’t mean you will actually vote.

A few publications hyped up a Harvard poll that found “Democrats maintaining heightened levels of interest as Republican engagement grows.” Holy cow, 40% of the respondents said they will “definitely vote” and out of that number, 54% are Democrats, 43% Republicans, and 24% Independents.

Again, words mean nothing, but actions do as Bloomberg splashed cold water on the Democrats:

Expectations of a great surge in voting by America’s youth have been dashed in the past. Turnout in presidential election years is always higher, and even former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — candidates with strong appeal to younger voters — were only able to draw just more than half of this age group to vote in their first elections. In years when the White House is in play, seven in 10 senior citizens typically cast ballots.

LOOK AT 2016. The supposed enthusiasm around Hillary and the Democrats led us all to believe she would demolish Trump at the polls…when the opposite came true.

Let’s look at Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reported that early voting totals in the central part of the state has topped the totals in 2014. In this portion, the Republicans have the lead over the Democrats. Plus independents may decide the winners (emphasis mine):

For Democrats, “It’s a double-edged sword,” said Daniel Smith, chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida. “There’s been higher turnout across the board in a midterm election and African Americans and Hispanics are voting at a higher rate. But that’s offset by an increase in turnout by white voters, older voters and Republican voters.”

African American voters usually have big turnout numbers on the second Sunday of early voting, known as “Souls to the Polls,” Smith said, so Democrats could see bigger gains next weekend. Election Day is Nov. 6.

But young voters ages 18 to 29, which make up 27 percent of the electorate, are only 5 percent of early and mail-in voters so far, he said.

The report in the Orlando Sentinel said that overall in the state, Democrats outperformed the Republicans by 1%. It took one day for that lead to disappear, according to the Associated Press (emphasis mine):

With a week to go before Election Day more than 3 million voters have already cast ballots in the battleground state of Florida.

New statistics released Tuesday by the state Division of Elections show that more than 1.26 million people have voted early. Additionally, more than 1.8 million people have voted by mail.

Nearly 1.29 million GOP voters have cast ballots, compared to nearly 1.23 million Democrats. Nearly 526,000 voters with no party affiliation have also cast ballots.


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*unaffiliated Texas voter waves her hand*

Hard for them to know how much to cheat if you don’t tell ’em ahead of time.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Foxfier. | October 30, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Ironic, that in 2016 and 2018 the “Democrats” have used your taxpayer dollars to push push push public college student registration – thinking the Dems will get those votes.

    So they won’t vote if registered, or what I suspect, they’ve vote GOP even though it was the Democrat College Admin and Faculties pushed pushed pushed all that public college student registration.

Restore markets to determine real prices and distribution. Assess private (e.g. charity) vs public (e.g. welfare) smoothing functions. Mitigate the collateral damage from excessive immigration (i.e. exceeding the rate of assimilation and integration before Planned Parenthood) at both ends of the bridge. Practice a good neighbor policy to promote emigration reform. Intermittent energy, non-renewable technology, and marginally environmentally friendly production are part of a basket of solutions. Equal not “=” rights and benefits. Character not color judgments. Men, women, and babies are conceived and evolve on Earth.

Pardon me, but didn’t the GOP win the house in 2010 on the promise of repealing Obamacare?

It’s 2018.

They haven’t made good on that promise and they are on the verge of losing the house.

    elle in reply to Andy. | October 30, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    what is your point? That we should not vote? Vote for the party of socialism and “abolish ICE”?

    I’m going to vote straight red just because the Democrats SUCK so bad.

      Andy in reply to elle. | October 31, 2018 at 1:23 am

      The districts won were historically blue. These are not die hard LI readers, they are dems in a dem state. Rep Herrara in south west Washington state was elected over a dem because people were mad as hell about Obamacare.

      It’s eight years later and people are still paying through the nose for their insurance.

      She will probably lose because the GOP has done jack shit to fix something that has more impact to their lives than even the tax cuts.

      Slice the GD words all you like… repeal, replace, blah blah blah. All they know is they are paying up to 50% more per month to get less coverage and the person they voted to help get it repealed didn’t get them what they voted for.

      So try to be a little more convincing to the voters who put Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray into lifetime employment in the senate.

    princepsCO in reply to Andy. | October 30, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Somewhat like the blacks and Democrats: promise them what they want to hear but ignore their needs and keep on making more messes so the GOP can ask for the votes to clean up the mess they made, uh?

    It would be nice if the GOP got to a solid lead in the House and 60 Senators so that Obamacare can be repealed, but for some reason they think we want it ‘mended’ rather than repealed. Shouldn’t be that hard even with a majority…

      Milhouse in reply to princepsCO. | October 30, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      It doesn’t help that the President says he doesn’t want it repealed.

      That and the fact that polls show repealing the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions — which is as crazy as requiring fire insurers to cover buildings that have already caught fire — is very unpopular.

        So what do you do for the worker who has always carried health insurance through his/her job, contracts a chronic condition, and then loses his/her insurance because the job goes away? They’ve always “done the right thing” by being covered, but now they can’t find coverage through no fault of their own.

        High risk pools?

        Deregulation to allow portability of coverage? Require portability?

          Mac45 in reply to Paul. | October 30, 2018 at 6:06 pm

          Actually, the government can regulate insurance companies to require them to cover pre-existing conditions. States force insurance companies to do all kinds of things. That is why the insurance lobby is so huge and well funded, to protect the insurance companies from being regulated to death. However, simply requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions would allow them to charge higher rates for covering those conditions. What many people are arguing for is for insurance companies to cover a higher risk client at the same rate that they cover lower risk patients. As the architects of Obamacare realized, this is only possible if everyone pays the same as a high risk client. This required that everyone pay into Obamacare and pay the higher rates. Almost 50% of those covered could not afford the premiums without government subsidies. Which was the plan all along.

          Vladtheimp in reply to Paul. | October 30, 2018 at 7:41 pm

          In response to Mac45 – Under the Constitution, there is a vast difference between the powers delegated to the Federal Government and those retained by the State Governments – insurance is not included as an area within the Federal Government’s authority.

          If the States have the power to force insurance companies to charge the same rates for those with pre-existing conditions as the healthy, what are the limits of this power? Can a State require that insurers charge the same rates for drivers who have a clean record as those with pre-existing records for drunk driving, reckless driving, etc.? Why not?

          If the States have the power to force insurance companies to charge the same rates for those with pre-existing conditions as the healthy, what are the limits of this power? Can a State require that insurers charge the same rates for home owners who have fire alarms, CO2 alarms, burglary alarms, etc. as those who don’t protect their property? Why not?

          If the States have the power to force insurance companies to charge the same rates for those with pre-existing conditions as the healthy, what are the limits of this power? Can a State require that insurers charge the same rates for homes built in flood plains, hurricane prone beachfront property, and the like as those who don’t face those pre-existing threats? Why not?

          Or maybe, like Obamacare, the Federal Government should (unconstitutionally) require insurers to cover drunk drivers; reckless drivers; negligent homeowners and those who choose to live in dangerous places geographically (including millionaires living on the ocean) at the same rates as normal Americans and subsidize the risk takers with our tax dollars.

          The genius of the Constitution is that the States govern themselves in accordance with the voter’s concerns for their state – and if folks don’t like California or Illinois they can vote with their feet. Unless you’re a Hollywood celebrity or an ABC billionaire, you can’t escape the Feds.

          Mac45 in reply to Paul. | October 30, 2018 at 10:05 pm

          Vlad, insurance companies can set any rate they want for insurance. Some states require insurers to use a variable rate schedule based upon the threat level. But, in other states, insurers can, and do, charge the same rate to everyone based solely upon the level of coverage [the amount of damage suffered]. In other words, the state can set any conditions that they want on what an insurance company can charge and even what they can and cannot cover. Most states actually allow insurance companies a lot of leeway, in what they cover, how they evaluate risk and what they charge their customers. That is largely the result of the huge amounts of money spent on the legislators who make the regulations by insurance lobbyists.

          Now, if insurance is sold across state lines or covers property in states other than the one in which the insurance company is based, then the federal government CAN regulate it, under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. And, the federal government DOES regulate interstate commerce.

          The problem with Obamacare is that it, along with Medicare, is essentially unconstitutional, as it requires people to purchase a product simply by being alive. And, in the case of Obamacare, they were penalized [fined] if they did not buy that product. That is why the SCOTUS decision on the Obamacare individual mandate was wholly unconstitutional.

        CaptTee in reply to Milhouse. | October 31, 2018 at 12:22 pm

        Since we have had ObamaCare for a couple of years, with its coverage for pre-existing conditions, it seems that everyone with a pre-existing condition would already be covered, therefore making the argument about pre-existing conditions irrelevant!

        The whole argument against covering pre-existing conditions is covering people who cancel policies when they don’t need them and buy insurance when they get sick. On this I am pro-choice completely. I have no problem with making people live with their own decisions and am fully opposed to people’s bad decisions creating burdens for others.

In this dream world I saw before me a place where people had to choose between two well qualified candidates.

In this dream world.

The supposed enthusiasm around Hillary and the Democrats led us all to believe she would demolish Trump at the polls

The obviously contrived enthusiasm for Hillary couldn’t compare to the palpably genuine enthusiasm for Trump. That’s why people who noticed predicted a yuugge victory.

The progression of Dems in any Election

1. Blow out polling for Dems BLUE WAVE! HOORAY
2. “Strongly leaning” Dem
3. Neck and Neck
4. Squeaker! Need your Support!! Send MORE MONEY!!

Getting their alibi’s ready:
1. voting machines are switching votes in Texas;
2. McCaskill is not “progressive enough AND racist to boot
3. Young people aren’t going to show up

After Election Day
1. Racism, Racism, Racism

    CDR D in reply to elle. | October 30, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Don’t forget RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA. They have that on the backburner now, but they have been laying some groundwork for that as a fallback position.

    murkyv in reply to elle. | October 30, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    #4. “We didn’t get out “message” out”

    (Saw yesterday that they’re already using this one)

I think if you are too stupid to GOOGLE, “how to buy stamps near me”, you are too stupid to vote.

The Dems will get the voters out to the polls, whether alive or deceased

if breathing wasn’t autonomic, it’s clear that a large proportion of our population would suffocate…

and i’m not sure how much of a loss that would actually be.

‘Oh yeah, I know so many people who didn’t send theirs in because they didn’t have a stamp’

Yes, the USPS is a hotbed of voter suppression.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Neo. | October 30, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    For some reason I do not feel bad that those persons who were the subjects of those examples find it too difficult to vote. What is wrong with me? I felt cheated because I missed ’64 by a year. [Who remembers “AuH2O-64”?]

    Too many wrongs in play here: Never been in a Post Office; Don’t know where or how to get stamps; too complicated to be at a given place on a given day, knowing about both long in advance. These people are in college??? How did they get through grammar school?

    They are in for a real smack-down when they venture out into the real world. Wait until they find out that world is actually competitive and not everyone gets a trophy.

    Yes, the grandkids are in for another interrogation…

pablo panadero | October 30, 2018 at 4:47 pm

The political science major won’t vote? Time to get a different major.

    Yeah that floored me. What the hell else are you going to use your political science degree for?!? I mean besides sitting it on a shelf while you’re making cinabons or coffee?

“..makes it hard for me to do tasks where the payoff is in the future…those tasks can be hard for me if I’m not enthusiastic about it…”

Gosh, I’ll see how far I get with not doing any tasks at home or work that I’m not ‘enthusiastic’ about.

Due to helicopter parenting and progressive education policies, they are so helpless. There’s some poetic justice in that, but it doesn’t bode well for our future.

The Trump base was not going to vote for many of the GOP politicians in 2018, because those politicians had totally ignored the strong signal that the voters had sent. The Dems were slated to walk into control of the House and possibly the Senate. Then, the liberal/Progressive Dems shot themselves in the foot by their actions in the Kavanaugh hearings and other acts just before and after. This stimulated the Trump voting base, many of whom are independents and some Dems to show a far greater interest in voting against the Dems. So, the Blue Wave petered out and we are back to pretty much the same dynamic that prevailed in the 2016 Presidential election. It is anybody’s game, at the moment.

    murkyv in reply to Mac45. | October 30, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    For our business, I have to hand deliver billing to a couple of local county courthouses.

    The lines for early voting this week were as long as I’ve ever seen for Presidential elections.

    Fortunately, both of these counties voted 70% for Trump and always go republican for the vast majority of local races

They have been conditioned to thinking if it can’t be emailed, it is not worth doing. Going to the post office and buying stamps is also considered gouache.

    murkyv in reply to Stan25. | October 30, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Been so long since I’ve bought a stamp, when I recently needed one, I was gobsmacked that they were now $.50

      Sanddog in reply to murkyv. | October 30, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      I guess I’m just old fashioned. I still send real greeting cards for birthdays, etc… Nothing says I’m too cheap and lazy to spend 5 minutes on your birthday, wedding, or whatever like an E-card.

        murkyv in reply to Sanddog. | October 31, 2018 at 11:36 am

        Nothing says I’m too cheap and lazy to spend 5 minutes on your birthday, wedding, or whatever like an E-card.

        I don’t even do that.

“…they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Connors told WTOP.”

These people have no business voting or breeding.

I pointout to my son that I didn’t understand the Sen Bob Casey ad citing 23 of 100 college students will be subject to sexual assaults while in college.

He looked it up and started to analyze the reports.

Besides the usual non-distinctions between assault and contact, his take away … he said it seems to include contact involved in dancing

Ah yes… the future indeed looks bright. Filled with young people that are incapable of doing much more than getting dressed and ordering their soy latte. Oh, and putting their hand out and demanding money just for existing on this planet. Boy have they got a rude awakening in store for them.

Hey Tim 27 in Austin from someone who has dealt with Actual ADHD for years and years, your mailing anxiety is laziness and immaturity not ADHD.

The economy is booming because of President Trump cutting regulations & costs to businesses giving them the opportunity to hire more people. High School and College students will see those jobs evaporate if the DimWits take over.

“Why should I vote for a party that doesn’t really do anything for me as a voter?”

This is a huge problem. Too many people want the gov’t to do something for them that they should be doing themselves.

“your mailing anxiety is laziness and immaturity not ADHD”

Of course it is. But by calling it ADHD, Tim now has an excuse to be lazy and immature and not feel bad about himself.

Just returned from visiting my daughter and son-in-law for several days in red Eastern Washington. Both in their late 20’s I asked if they planned to vote and they said they’d have to study-up on the candidates and issues first, because all they see on TV is people bashing each other.

Back at the hotel, I read your post to my wife, or as much of it as she could bear hearing … at first she was laughing but that quickly turned to disgust as I continued reading to her and finally she told me to stop. She’s a retired teacher – so reading about this kind of ineptitude and stupidity is especially difficult. She taught Home Ec – a component of which was life skills. NO ONE who had her as a teacher would lack such skills as you’ve cited above …

We both expressed the hope of dying before this generation takes over. 😉