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Do people get more conservative as they age?

Some people answer this question with a resounding 'Yes!'

Fortunately, we have 40 years worth of Presidential exit polls to use to try to poke around at this question. I say we can 'poke around' because we can't actually get an answer to this question as written using the exit polls, for reasons that will become clear in a bit. But we can answer a more utilitarian variant of this question: Do voters from a specific generation tend to vote more Republican as that generation gets older?

The answer: No.

Below, I've taken all the exit poll data by age and plotted it up. For example, voters age 18-24 in 2008 voted 66% for Obama. This data point can be found as a green hexagon in the upper right-hand corner, at 66% Democratic and birth year 1987. For clarity, only the midpoint birth year is shown for each data point, and not the full age range.
 

The first and most obvious thing to notice is how very different voters born after ~1970 are from those who have preceded them. For years now, young voters have been dismissed as overly idealistic flakes who will vote Republican like they're supposed to once they settle down. But the youngest voters of the 1996 election have now supported the Democratic candidate over the Republican for five elections in a row. And by now, they're not so young anymore.

The second thing that immediately jumps out is how 'swingy' voters born before 1940 have been. Join me below for a more detailed look at generational voting patterns, including how (by one measure) Baby Boomers are more Republican than their parents, and a look at how voters from a given generation change over time.

We can roughly reconstruct the support for Democrats of voters from specific generations from the exit poll data, although because the age ranges do not exactly match over time, it's only an approximation. This reconstruction is plotted below for six political 'generations' defined by the President at the time when they became eligible to vote. This is to give some indication of the political events that shaped the voter's (potentially) initial voting experiences. Any president that won reelection has a 'generation' shown below.

First we see that voters from five of the six generations have increasingly Democratic tendencies over time. The only exception is the Nixon/Ford generation.

The voters from the Roosevelt generation, post-Reagan, were slightly more Democratic than those from the generations that came immediately after it. In 1984, the Eisenhower, Nixon/Ford, and Reagan generations were united and never strayed much from each other afterwards. The singular distinction of the voters from the Nixon/Ford generation, who are all Baby Boomers, is that they gave far more support to McGovern in 1972 than their elders, and slightly more support to Carter. Then we come to the voters from the Clinton and Bush generations - far more Democratic than their elders, something that was readily apparent in the first graph.

So do voters from a specific generation become more Republican over time? Not in the least - the opposite is generally true, in fact - at least over the last 40 years. The only exception is the Nixon/Ford/Boomer generation, which supported McGovern in 1972 at almost the exact same rate as Obama in 2012 - still not more Republican, but not more Democratic either. However, we do see that in the short term this generation did support Reagan to a much greater extent than it did earlier Republicans.

Explaining the data
Three major processes explain most of the variation of these voting generations: realignment, immigration, and participation.

Two of these processes - immigration and participation - I covered in my previous post, which showed that voters within a generation have become more ethnically and racially diverse over time since 1972. The relevant graph can be seen here. Non-white voters in general have been more supportive of Democrats than white voters over the past 30 years, so this explains almost all of the trends seen above from 1984 onwards.

Increasing participation also explains why exit polls can't tell us if individuals within a generation or even the generation as a whole becomes more conservative as they age. Simply put, participation increases greatly as an age group gets older. For example, crude turnout of Baby Boomers increased by about 20 points between 1972 and 2008. It's entirely possible that those who were non-voters when young were more conservative than those who were voters - or the other way around - which would completely foul up any conclusions we might make about the tendencies of individuals or the entire generation. All we can say is that voters from a generation tend to support Democrats more as time goes on. And in the end, this is what matters when it comes to elections, anyway.

The third process, realignment, in this case refers to the Dixiecrat/Reagan Democrat/Southern Strategy phenomenon that was playing out nationally in the 1970s and 1980s (and apparently may still be playing out today in parts of the Upland South and Appalachia). Below we see a graph of support for Democrats in the states of New York and Alabama:

We see that after Carter, support for Democrats in Alabama fell dramatically and has more or less stayed flat ever since. Carter was the last Democrat who was able to rally Dixiecrats to his ticket - Reagan brought them back into the Republican fold and they've stayed there ever since. Meanwhile, in New York, Reagan was about the last Republican to rally the fabled moderate Northeast Republicans. By the 1990s, New York had flipped to a solidly Democratic state. This realignment process accounts for the massive swings in Democratic support in the 1970s and 80s.

This is all kinda messy...
This is all very well, but the realignment kind of messed up any trends, and immigration won't necessarily continue at the same pace as it has in the future. So to simplify things a bit, here's a graph of just white voters after most of the realignment had been completed. Sadly, I do not have the data available for non-white voters.

I've added in the name of the President when these voters first became eligible to vote along the bottom. We can see a nice little U-shaped curve. Post-realignment, the white voters of the Roosevelt generation were more Democratic than their Baby Boomer kids. Now, however, the white (great)-grandchildren of the Roosevelt generation are just about as Democratic as their (great)-grandparents - and perhaps even more so.

We also see less change over time than prior to realignment. This is not to say that the future cannot bring more severe change - only that our current position is pretty stable. (Also recall, when looking at the graph, Perot's substantial share of the votes in 1992.)

To summarize:
Voters from a specific generation do not trend towards Republicans as that generation ages. However, younger voters are far more Democratic than their parents and grandparents, and they're staying that way. Since 1984, there has also been a trend within generations towards support for the Democrat. These two facts are mostly explained by increasing diversity within generations, and greater diversity in the younger generations. To a lesser extent, the youngest generation is also more supportive of Democrats (compared to their parents) for white voters as well. Finally, before 1984, shifting allegiances due to realignment processes resulted in some fairly dramatic swings in voting patterns.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting data and graphs here ... thanks! (18+ / 0-)

    As you say, there is no record of a generation starting out liberal/dem for several cycles and then becoming solidly conservative when they are older.

  •  This is good news for John McCain! (11+ / 0-)

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:13:09 AM PST

  •  Voters become more orthodox in their views (11+ / 0-)

    as they get older. So it's more small "c" conservative, in that they generally don't change. More than 75% of all voter behavior can be explained by who they voted for in their 1st three elections.

    New Dealers remained Democrats almost to the end, the current 50+ Republicans are the young 18-29 year olds that Reagan won (think Alex Keaton in the TV show "Family Ties").

    People getting more conservative as they grow older is lazy CW sort of like "undecideds always break against the incumbent". There isn't a lot of facts to back up the assertion but it keeps getting repeated.

    I have seen evidence people are more resistant to social change as they grow older. Sometimes like with fights over things like Civil Rights, feminism, and marriage equality that will bleed over into politics. But that tends to only be a single election change when that issue becomes "hot" otherwise voters will fall into their predictable patterns of continuing to vote for the party they always vote for.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:44:07 AM PST

    •  By the way I'm not arguing voters never change (8+ / 0-)

      as you can see realignments happen. The South and now Appalachia trending red, while the MidAtlantic and now the South West are trending blue for example.

      But these realignments tend to be demographic group realignments. For example unions fading allowed Republicans to win over blue collar white men, social issues allowed Democrats to win over college educated whites. So states with very high percentages of blue collar whites (especially if their Protestants and not Catholics) moved towards the GOP, states with high percentages of college educated whites moved towards the Democrats. Even more than regional variables group demographics explain a lot of the political realignments of the past 30 years.

      -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

      by dopper0189 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:50:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Demographics are key indeed (9+ / 0-)

        Especially if you look at religious groups, which can partially act as a proxy for regions, so that gets kind of murky as far as demographic vs. regional change.

        As far as older people more resistant to social change, Pew showed change in support for marriage equality by generation last year... ah,here it is. Much to my surprise, all generations have been changing their minds at almost the same rate over the past decade. I was surprised because I, too, have seen evidence that older voters are more resistant to social change. Food for thought.

        •  I think older voters are more resistent (4+ / 0-)

          to instigating social change.

          But if it's forced on them, they'll deal with it - and may even see that it was a good decision.

          Don't ask them to make it though.

          This probably explains a lot of why previous gay marriage initiatives failed when brought to the voters. The predominant group wouldn't see any real reason to change things at that time. But as more states enact gay marriage and/or civil unions, and the world doesn't come to an end, they grudgingly accept that maybe it isn't that big a deal to them.

          And when it comes up the next time, not only are there more of the younger generations who will support it, they're more likely to as well.

          Tipping point. Then it passes.  

        •  This is SO fascinating (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lordpet8, MichaelNY, kyril

          esp. since it's good news ( of a kind ) for our team.

           As a member of the much-maligned boomer gen. - I know that I was very idealistic, but also very apolitical as a young person. It was Reagan that woke me up, politically. I feel sure that a lot of my fellow 'hippies' or counterculture folks did not vote, early on. I remember not liking Carter very much at all - did not vote that year. I'm pretty sure I did not vote in Reagan's first election, but I am positive that I got on board for the second one.

          Grew up in a very political family - rumor has it that one of my first words was ' Kefauver; - which is really fun to say, even now !

          “Good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who agitate!” Julian Bond

          by Dvalkure on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:50:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not necessarily... (14+ / 0-)

      You said, "I have seen evidence people are more resistant to social change as they grow older."

      I didn't learn anything about drug use until college, and I never met a gay person until years later.

      I was severely conservative and intolerant as a youngster. But after college, and my life experiences, I've become more and more liberal and tolerant as I've aged.

    •  I have seen people get more liberal (6+ / 0-)

      Because the school of hard knocks teaches them that we are all in this together, and that everyone should work together to help each other without getting the religious groups involved.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:56:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dopper: RE that 75% set by first three elections. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril
      More than 75% of all voter behavior can be explained by who they voted for in their 1st three elections.
      Doesn't that suggest exit polls have to track individuals through several elections? Do they? If not, what kind of evidence supports that conclusion?

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:41:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you just ask people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        which of course is subject to various sorts of biasing effects.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:03:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Social change and aging (8+ / 0-)

    Speaking as a member of the Nixon/Ford generation, I have a hypothesis for perhaps why people are not so resistant to change as they grow older.    

    I know I was heavily influenced by the 60s mantra of "Challenge everything" even though I was still a primary school lad at the time.  And whereas all generations face some time of changes, the world did seem to explode in the 60s and 70s with respect to gender roles and racial equality, school integration, liberated attitudes about sex, more balanced attitudes about war and peace, etc.

    So, when compared with prior generations, I wonder if we are more accepting of the fact and inevitability of social change, and accept it more willingly.    

    It does surprise me when some of my peers who have Tea Party beliefs also have pretty decent social acceptance attitudes.

    Footnote: The change in generational attitudes was discussed with friends recently.  Their daughters are in middle school and inter-racial dating means nothing to the kids.  What does disrupt their sense of harmony, though, is when a "slacker" kid and an "achieving" kid are interested in each other.

    •  I can see how a "slacker" kid and "achieving" kid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, kyril

      Could be into each other. The slacker gives the achieving kid a respite from all the activity, gives them a chance to relax, while the achieving kid gives the slacker some energy, and is stimulating.

      They don't compete, which has to be a relief for the achieving kid. You know, a port in the storm kind of feeling.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:02:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  sawgrass, please define "slacker" and "achiever". (0+ / 0-)

      The young people I know, anecdotal, will be offended by such labels.

  •  As a Nixon-era first-time voter... (6+ / 0-)

    Many of us were voting Democratic in 1972 because it was our butts who were being shipped off to Vietnam and McGovern promised to end the war immediately. We were much more Democratic than our elders in that one election, but later on we were fairly close.

    So our early voting may have been more Democratic than our true tendency.  Since then we have slowly drifted up like the rest of the country.

  •  Age-period-cohort analysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvalkure, MichaelNY, CalGal47

    Porn for social-science / statistics geeks.  Love it.

    "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

    by RickinStLouis on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:58:01 AM PST

  •  Very interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, kyril

    Thanks for this.  

    I think the white voter data jibes with existing literature on the tendency of early presidential votes to predict lifelong party voting behavior, as dopper0189 noted above.  The drop-off in Democratic support among white millennials, which explains almost all of the general millennial dip, is likely largely explained by the disproportionate effect the Great Recession has had on this group.  Although their level of Democratic support remains above other white age cohorts, it's hard not to see this as a lost opportunity to improve the party's long term performance.  

  •  We may have thought we knew this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foucaultspendulum

    But it's good to see data behind it. I've long suspected it wasn't true that people become more conservative as they get older. I've also wondered how far back the trend of young voters going heavily Democratic started. I didn't know it went back to the 90's, though I wouldn't use the word "heavily" for the 90's. After 2000 however, that seems a fair word. Interesting the dip in 2000, which I suspect was the disaffection many Democrats felt over policies they saw as too much like the Republicans. Bush was obviously a wake up call. Yes, young voters are giving Democrats an advantage, provided we keep winning young voters. I make no assumption they're just ours for the having. There is always a new group of young voters, and we'll have to keep trying to win them over. If Republicans can't figure this out, fine with me. Suppressing the votes of students, low in come people, people who move a lot, groups which tend to be young, might help Republicans a while, but it seems bound to have blowback. I've heard a case that it already has in 2012.

  •  I Had a Libertarian Streak (9+ / 0-)

    When I was young and had my whole life ahead of me.

    I realized later that I was evaluating risk appropriately -- after all, if I made a mistake or suffered some misfortune, I would have decades of life to make up for it.

    Now that I'm older, I see that it is not just unfair, but also generally detrimental to insist that every segment of the population bear the same risk and burdens that 20-somethings are able to do.

    Plus, it's just impossible to ask infants or the elderly to earn their keep in a cut-throat job market ...

    I faced reality:

    Not everyone can, nor should be asked to, care for themselves through every stage of their lives.

    Noting this as an example of a change that an individual can experience, with regard to political perspective, over a lifetime.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:19:23 AM PST

    •  The 1% "invest" in palaces and slaves. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foucaultspendulum, kyril

      Investing to promote the general welfare is always a governmental responsibility. Private charity exists, but it cannot bear a tenth of the need if a society is aiming to a prosperous future.

      My generation had near-free college.

      $175 a trimester for tuition. In today's dollars, that's $1,133. Total tuition to rack up a full B.A./B.S. would be in the neighborhood of $12,000 to $15,000. Good luck finding anything like that from a solid Land Grant these days.

      Class warfare is played for keeps.

      Meanwhile... one of the true axxholes on Wall Street had his $30,000,000 new mansion on Long Island destroyed by Sandy. No flood insurance. Total loss. Apparently his art collection got trashed too.

      (Despite what she did to us, flooding out our garage and wrecking pipes, I'm going to kiss that bitch if I ever meet her again.)

    •  bink, you are a beacon. I must say, you underrate (0+ / 0-)

      both the young, and your elders, imho.

  •  What astounds me are all the Trotskyites (5+ / 0-)

    who became Neocons.  Maybe I should not be astounded, since both are likely to appeal o a "true believer" mentality that likely cannot handle cognitive dissonance well.

  •  Just not true in my experience (9+ / 0-)

    I was born very liberal, raised by very conservative parents who thought they were Independents (really, not so much).

    As I have had more experience in life on this crazy planet and am into my 7th decade I am FAR MORE LIBERAL than I ever was as a younger person.  

    Maybe it is something we are born with?  Don't know, but no one could ever shake me out of my very liberal, socialistic views.  Nothing else has ever made sense to me.

    JMO

    *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

    by Shirl In Idaho on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:36:07 AM PST

  •  "once they settle down" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, bontemps2012, kyril
    For years now, young voters have been dismissed as overly idealistic flakes who will vote Republican like they're supposed to once they settle down.
    No doubt, what's playing a role here is the shift in the economy over the last decade towards lower and lower paying jobs. Fewer and fewer people are able to "settle down" in the way their parents did. That trend won't change unless the wage destruction encouraged by GOP policies gets turned around. Until then, the folks caught in that trap have no real reason to vote Republican no matter what their age.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:09:54 AM PST

  •  With the Boomers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril

    The more lower financial class who are more likely to vote Democratic were also more likely to end up dead because of the Viet Nam war. They couldn't get deferments like the wealthy could, with college and other options the wealthy had.

    The higher financial class who is more likely to vote Republican avoided the war, so they survived. Think of all the chicken hawks we see in the Republican party, who got out of going to war but push for it, like Romney.

    That, along with the fact they were attacking and  killing the liberals here in the US for protesting, led to the liberals going underground and ceasing to vote for a very long time. They had given up on getting anything done in the "system" because things were stacked against them.

    The survivors are starting to vote again.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:55:07 AM PST

  •  Really interesting. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvalkure, bontemps2012, kyril

    I was born in 1971. I'm a Clinton Era voter. I voted for him both times. He was actually a bit conservative for me, but better than the alternative. I started college while Bush I was in office, and I remember what a great "Education President" he was by cutting education loan programs. My dad was a tool and die maker and very pro-union and the experience of him being laid off time and again during the Reagan years had a profound impact on me and made me a lifelong Democrat.

    I'm more liberal now in my 40's than I was in my 20's and I don't see anything that could reverse that course.

  •  Makes a lot of sense (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvalkure, lordpet8, bontemps2012

    we can all come up with anecdotes, but looking at all the data, it's clear...Republicans are winning the over-50 voters now by so much because those were the voters they were winning as they first started paying attention to politics in the 80s.

    But they have been going 20 years now losing the youth vote and it's going to come back to bite them down the road.

  •  Can only speak for myself (0+ / 0-)

      As a boomer - I became more liberal over-time.  Perhaps it was because of my career in public healthcare.  
        Perhaps it was because 1/2 of my parents were liberal and I followed them.  My biologic father was a (R) and my mom was a (D).
        In an interesting twist, my paternal grandparents politics are unknown to me, but my grandmother's side of his family have prominent (D) names (for 2 generations) and are still in Congress.

        I never ventured into GOP land, except to make poster's for Goldwater - but it wasn't ideological, is was just a fun excuse for high school kids to get out of the house.

  •  I'm getting longer in the tooth daily (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foucaultspendulum, Sailorben, kovie

    ..and some days awaken feeling old as dirt.

    Becoming more "liberal" by the day too.  Because I'm growing smarter through hard-lived experience.

    That, and the fact that what passes for "conservatism" these days is dumber than goose-shit in a tea-bag.

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:13:31 PM PST

  •  I was born before the boomers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sailorben

    When did they start--1946?  I was born in 1944.

    The older I get the more radical I become.  I've decided that I'm not even a Democrat, really, I'm a socialist.  From reading about certain countries in the Western world, I've concluded that on the whole, those living in socialist countries are a hell of a lot happier than those living here.

    But naturally I vote Democratic because I know as well as you do what the alternative would be.  I am totally in favor of marriage equality, pay equity, and immigration.

    So there.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:59:47 PM PST

  •  conservative does not mean voting Republican (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sailorben, kovie, CalGal47

    The idea that people get more conservative as they age only makes sense in the original meaning of the word conservative. Of course people tend to get more cautious with money and more concerned with stability as they get older, especially if they have children. I'm a lot more conservative in my 40's than I was in my reckless 20's, but motherhood and chronic illness will do that.

    There's nothing remotely conservative about the crazed power-hungry, hyper-nationalist flaming ideology that the Republican party is promoting these days.

    There is not such a cradle of democracy upon this earth as the Free Public Library

    by gorgonza on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:25:17 PM PST

  •  you're ignoring the fuxuation of the median (0+ / 0-)

    Some argue that democrats are shifting to the middle as the middle shifts to the right.

    This effect, if true is not captured in your graphs.

    If there is a shift, it invalidates the arguments you make because a vote for a democrat x years later by the same demographic group is not a vote for the same ideological positions and policies.

    I myself have not drifted rightward. I would love to believe that Obama is no farther to the right than LBJ, Kennedy and FDR. But that's simply not true. I am way to the left of Obama.

    Neither is it true that Romney was ideologically equivalent to Nixon or Goldwater or GHW Bush.

     

    •  I think that if you asked the same people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      about ideology, issues and policies, you'd see a leftward slide as well on most issues. This has been going on since at least 2005, the high (low) point of post-Reagan conservatism in terms of public acceptance of it.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:07:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've gotten MUCH more conservative as I age (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gorgonza

    That is, conservative in how much leeway I'm willing to give conservatives when they spout their self-evident ideological nonsense about tax cuts that pay for themselves and the wonders of the unregulated free market. When I was young I used to think that they deserve to make their points, and that people like David Brooks were "reasonable". Now, I just want to smack them in the mouth and make them cry until they admit that they're full of shit and only say this stuff because it's in their best interests, not the country's.

    Hey, it's just my version of "enhanced interrogation".

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:05:36 AM PST

  •  I've got a three generation (0+ / 0-)

    small business (funeral home) family in my church. The elder, who recently passed away, came of age in the Depression and served in WW2. He was a rural lad who remembers well what FDR did for them, and understands how important pulling together as a community can be for survival. He was pretty socially conservative, but politically, would probably fall in the general Democratic direction.

    The current oldest, a Boomer from the late forties, is a small business owner through and through. He's a long time community booster, active in EVERY aspect of the community, just like his Dad. About equally conservative on social issues, he's also more conservative politically, likely falling into a moderate Republican mindset (yes, they still exist).

    The youngest is in his thirties, a Millennial , I guess. He's becoming a community booster, but not the extent as his dad and grandpa. He's much more socially liberal than either of them, but I can't get a good read on him politically at all. He got this deep seated cynicism that comes through every once in a while and may have a Libertarian streak waiting to manifest.

    Its fascinating to watch how different, and yet how similar they are to each other. One thing that is gospel in their area of small business-NEVER CAMPAIGN FOR ANYONE. When your business depends on the goodwill of the ENTIRE community, you are neutral outwardly as far as any politics go. I have NO idea how any of them might have voted. So everything is just an impression. But I think we had, in order, a yellow dog democrat, a republican of the Rockefeller strain, and, if I had to guess, a democrat or possibly third party (not tea party) voter, more likely a democrat.

    Fascinating generational study in my own backyard. and I think it lines up somewhat with your thesis.

    Almost 10 year old Daughter: "Boys are pretty good, but daughters have sentimental value." Me: "I don't think that phrase means what you think it does." Daughter: "None of them do, Mom. More's the pity. Words have to be flexible in today's world."

    by left rev on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:33:44 AM PST

  •  Very cool n/t (0+ / 0-)

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