Decision MediaWorks

The Hidden 30-year Trend That Has Dem Operatives Salivating

Among the longest standing assumption among political practitioners is that young voters start liberal and move to the right as they age.

The narrative goes that voters under thirty are traditionally heavily influenced by outspoken peers or lefty college professors. These youthful voters move to the right, however, as they begin careers, pay taxes and have children.

Pollsters watched as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers took predictable paths to voting Republican. The assumption is that Millennials will follow the same course.

They will not.

The chart below shows the generation gap in presidential voting since Jimmy Carter. A few items to note about this chart:

- The generation gap in voting has never been wider. The apparent drop in 2012 is exaggerated because many Millennials turned thirty between presidential elections and were counted in the 30 and over crowd in 2012.

- For most of the last thirty years, there really has not been a generation gap. Younger Boomers and all Gen Xers generally did not swing hard for one party over the other. In fact, the average pre-Obama vote gap was only 3.6 percent.

Millennials are a radically different generation from their parents with regards to communication and social traits. In the coming weeks we will explore what the data says about this large generation and why they will not follow traditional political behavior patterns…and why that matters to Florida’s future.

Enjoy the interactive chart and if you like it, please share it.

Data from Pew Research Center


The Obama Battle Plan: Take The Cities, Ignore The Countryside

One of the things we like so much about data visualization is that it makes some things look pretty dang obvious.  For example, the Obama 2012 Florida campaign strategy.

The map viz below shows the difference between Obama’s performances from 2008 to 2012 in each house district.  The data is adjusted to account for the 2012 legislative redistricting process.

I’ll let the data speak for itself below but first a few items of interest.

- Obama performed worse in most districts with an average -.22% performance decline in house districts. This average decline is largely due to Obama sinking in strong Republican areas. If you only look at swing and Democrat seats, Obama averaged a .50% performance increase.

- Obama’s biggest jumps came in Miami in districts held by Republican house members. His other jumps came in districts heavy with independents and Hispanics. Tampa, Orlando and Miami broke heavily for Obama.

Have fun with the map below, shoot me a message with any questions.