Here’s some news that will never see the front page of the New York Times:
President Trump is soaring among older Millennials, according to a poll from Zogby, of all places. And that unexpected report from the left-leaning pollster just happens to coincide with the nosedive that Trump’s socialist challenger, Bernie Sanders, has taken among youth in a separate Morning Consult poll.
Not too long ago, Vox reported that young people hate Trump. Today, it looks as though Trump is eating Sanders alive. Three years ago, Sanders was a novelty among the young, and Sanders’s most impassioned supporters. Today, Bernie is a has-been, an also-ran, a guy who got gulled by the Hillary Clinton Democratic Party machine and didn’t complain much about it.
Chris Cillizza has noted that the rise of Trump among the young has been going on as a trend, as a matter of fact. Young voters are starting to flock to Trump, and it may well be that it’s at Bernie Sanders’s expense.
There are no news accounts or interpretive analytics explaining why this might be the case, but anecdotally, this looks a bit like the silent generation asserting itself once again. Back in 1972, with the unpopular Vietnam War going on, the conventional wisdom propounded in the mainstream press held that all the young people would leap to vote for George McGovern for president over Richard Nixon owing to his extensive liberal platform. They didn’t. In fact, on election night, oodles of young people were waving their Nixon signs and buttons, proud to stand up and be counted when no lefty could stop them.
It also seems to resemble the dynamics of the 1980 presidential election that elected the great Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter, which is the one where I cast my first ballot. As a teen in a public high school in San Diego, I recall how the press and the intellectuals running our advanced placement classes tried to foist the green agenda on us and told us that we would have to start accepting “small is beautiful” as a philosophy, as Jerry Brown said. There would never be jobs for us (though we noticed that the people telling us this were comfortable enough), and our lives were over before life had begun; it had all been used up by those who came before us, so suck it up. There was other blather about the importance of accepting socialism even if it meant we could never reach our potential. In my class, this whole indoctrinated picture seemed to ignite support for Reagan. Slowly, slowly, a grassfire rebellion began to take place in the class. At the beginning of the semester, our lefty community college instructor asked the class to raise their hands as to whom they wanted for president, and most hands shot up for Carter. By the end of the semester, the ratio had flipped severely, and pretty much everyone among the college-bound seniors said they wanted Reagan. It was good to defy the teacher. And more important, it shifted our prospects to something more to our liking as our bet proved right, and the Reagan jobs boom began after 1982. Young people were the biggest beneficiaries.
One wonders if the same thing might be happening now among the Millennials, especially the older ones who remember the long Obama years and its subpar-growth economy, as well as nonstop propaganda about the wonderfulness of “going green.” How did these years unfold for young people, with little to offer them, in their defining young work years, which set the tone for one’s career? Were they too told there would never be jobs for them? Yes, as a matter of fact they were as President Obama claimed that high growth was a thing of the past. With Trump proving something very different — and unemployment dropping below 4%, it’s pretty obvious they realized they’d been lied to. Did they have enough of Mom’s basement?
Seems like it.
Which would explain why Sanders has become a tiresome bore for them and they are looking for someone new. The youth fascination with the elderly socialist has always been a bit of a mystery, though he is pretty well spoken. Perhaps his money scandals (multiple houses and a private jet after life in public office) have drawn away support, or his failure to fight the Clinton machine, or his socialist schtick has just gotten boring.
Whatever the case, Trump is cleaning up as his numbers go up in the polls. That’s a thing of beauty and Trump should have fun with it, out on the 2020 campaign trail.