Posted by | June 26, 2012 20:08 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Everyone screams about class warfare, but the biggest electoral difference may be between old farts and young punks.  David Leonhardt explains:

This year, polls suggest that Mitt Romney will win a landslide among the over-65 crowd and that President Obama will do likewise among those under 40.

Beyond political parties, the two have different views on many of the biggest questions before the country. The young not only favor gay marriage and school funding more strongly; they are also notably less religious, more positive toward immigrants, less hostile to Social Security cuts and military cuts and more optimistic about the country’s future. They are both more open to change and more confident that life in the United States will remain good.

Older people are reliable voters.  President Obama won by such a large margin in 2008 in part because younger voters showed up to the polls in historical numbers.  While this bodes well for the long term future of the Democratic Party (voters who came of age under President W. Bush or President Obama tend to be progressive), this election may hinge on whether the younger generation can come close to matching its turnout from four years ago.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.