Saturday, March 12, 2005

Demographic conundrum for the GOP


On the one hand, what age group is most likely to think privatizing Social Security is a bad idea?

Hmm, looks like the oldsters, according to the Pew Center for the People and the Press. In February 2005, fully 58 percent of people over 65 oppose Bush's "personal" accounts. Moreover 68 percent of opponents of the plan insist vehemently they are not about the change their minds. So traveling the country stumping for private accounts is not the most obvious way to lure and keep the allegiance of older voters.

Meanwhile, what age group is most likely to support offering marriage rights to same sex couples? Well in Massachusetts where everyone has to think this through because it is the law, those 18-39 youngsters actually come down for equal rights. According to an April 2003 Boston Globe/WBZ poll:

"It shows that young people in Massachusetts are far more likely to favor marriage for gays than are older residents. Among those between 18 and 39 years old, 62 percent supported legalizing same-sex marriage, and 33 percent opposed it. For those between 40 and 64 years of age, 53 percent voiced support, while 42 percent said they opposed legalizing gay marriages. Those over 65 had the strongest opposition, with 69 percent against it, and 21 percent in favor."

Stumping for a Constitutional amendment to outlaw gay unions isn't too attractive to the young.

It is probably not a good idea to incite enmity from both ends of the age spectrum at once. While I have huge respect for the cunning of Republican media manipulators, President Lincoln's dictum may begin to apply here: "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time - but you can't fool all the people all of the time."

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