Gray Power: Will It Trump Race and the Youth Vote?

CBS News examines the age factor in the Democratic presidential race. Older voters favor Hillary, younger voters favor Obama. African-American voters are expected to favor Obama.

Younger voters turned out in Iowa and African American voters will turn out in South Carolina. But, CBS says, that may not be true for Tsunami Tuesday and that could work against Obama.
Obama’s weak performance so far among older voters substantially increases the odds against him scoring big victories in the slew of states voting on February 5th, "Super Duper Tuesday."

By the numbers: [More...]

In Iowa, Clinton grabbed 45 percent of the 65 and up while Obama took just 18 percent. In New Hampshire, she won 48 percent to 32 percent. Among voters 60 and older in Nevada, Clinton mopped up with a stunning 60 percent to Obama’s 31 percent.

Nationally, Clinton led Obama 44 percent to 18 percent among voters over 65 in a CBS New/The New York Times poll taken January 9-12.

CBS compares the voter turnout among young and older voters:

Voters over 65 were a solid 22 percent of the Democratic primary electorate in Iowa.

But in Nevada, a dazzling 36 percent of the primary voters were over 60. Turnout for the caucuses was huge. Nearly a third of the state’s registered Democrats participated. All Democrats, even the over-65 crowd, are unusually motivated this year - not just the young voters Obama has energized.

I think large numbers of younger voters will turn out on Feb. 5. Until then, I don't think we know the effect of the gray power vote and the youth vote, if it materializes, could trump it. Not to the CBS writer, who says:

Whatever the reasons, the pattern of voting behavior so far is clear. It is a pattern that could be a key to making Hillary Clinton the first female presidential nominee in American history.

Which do you think will have the biggest impact, age, race or gender? Here's how I see it stacking up right now for Democratic voters (I'm excluding Independents):

Young Voters: Obama
Older voters: Hillary
Women voters: Hillary
African American voters: Obama
Latino voters: Hillary
Change voters: Obama
Experience voters: Hillary

As for other groups:

Blue Collar/Middle Class: Hillary
Wealthier, More Educated Voters: Obama

Bottom line: I think it's way too soon to say who comes out ahead with all these variables.

< John Edwards Will Stay and Fight for Nomination | Looking Ahead To South Carolina For The Dems >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Headline On CBS Article Is Really Bad (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:45:01 PM EST
    Analysis: Obama's Age Gap: Is It Race?

    I guess that all of us old farts are closet racists.

    It couldn't possibly be that us old farts value experience and the polling indicated that experience was a deciding factor in the Nevada. You can give all the counter arguments about Obama's experience you want and it won't change the fact that Clinton is PERCEIVED to be the candidate stronger on experience.

    It couldn't possibly be that more old farts are women and just as the AA community would like to see an African American president, women would like to see a woman president.

    Nope, it has to be the most divisive reason that CBS could find.

    The Media (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by BDB on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 03:02:53 PM EST
    Is determined to make this about race.  The pushing of some sort of black/hispanic schism in the party has been particularly obnoxious.  They are actively trying to start a war between the two groups because, you know, that would be so great for America.

    maya (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:33:52 PM EST
    now is the time

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAA (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:34:46 PM EST
    yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I did it.....Thank you soooooooooooooooooooo very much everyone...This ole lady has trouble with these things....Bless you all for helping me.....

    didnt work :( (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:37:41 PM EST
    I dont understand what I am doing wrong

    This one works. Congrats. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:41:57 PM EST
    Thanks again (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:49:03 PM EST
    I am so proud of myself....My hubby walked in and saw me beaming from ear to ear and said "what is so great"....I said "Kinda hard to explain" :-)

    Speaking (none / 0) (#1)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:08:45 PM EST
    strictly as a "grey" voter, I hope we prevail....Does anyone know what the precentages are of the older crowd....I know that America is aging due to the "baby boomers" getting older....

    How about the gray, black, (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:19:44 PM EST
    male blue collar voter?

    It Would Be Interesting To See A Breakdown Of (none / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:48:10 PM EST
    the AA and Hispanic communities by age group and see if there is a generation pattern within those groups.

    here's a breakdown of NV votes (none / 0) (#22)
    by jen on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:43:35 PM EST
    I'm 62 and voting for Obama (none / 0) (#5)
    by JHFarr on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:54:43 PM EST
    I'm not paying any attention to the polls, commercials (don't watch TV), pundits, or even the blogs. I haven't read A SINGLE WORLD Obama has ever said. I haven't watched a single speech and don't intend to, but I will vote for Barack Hussein Obama.

    Why? Simple.

    Hillary is too old and too white. Politically, I like Edwards, but he's too white, also. I can't think of a better way to initiate change than to put in a president who's in his 40s and happens to have a grandmother in Kenya.

    Let me repeat that: I don't give a fart about policy statements, no matter who gives them. It's time for my generation to step back (Hillary, I'm talking to you) and let go of the reins. What the world needs is a black American president in his 40s. That's all I care about, and think of all the time and trouble that formulation saves.

    Maya Angelou (none / 0) (#6)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:00:56 PM EST
    she has endorsed Hillary and she is an older black female as well as a very close friend of Oprah's....So the age split is showing itself there....I suspect it will for the most part all over....Of course there will always be exceptions to that as there are to most rules....

    I'm surprised there is no information (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:05:50 PM EST
    about this on Hillary Clinton's campaign website.  Waiting also for U.S. media to pick up on it.

    7 Citizens (none / 0) (#7)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:02:04 PM EST
    In family.listed.... Age, class, situation, vote.....

    Husband- Over 60, Blue Collar Middle Class - Hillary
    Myself - Under 60, White Collar Middle Class - Hillary

    5 Children
    Female - Upper 30 , Lower Class, single with 2 jobs - Supports Obama but will not vote
    Female - Mid 30, Poverty level, single mom of 2 with job - Supports Obama but will not vote
    Female - Mid 20, Poverty level, single mom of 3 (twins with special needs can't get the help she needs) no job- Supports Obama but will not vote

    These females are so busy keeping their heads above water... they won't have time to vote. Too bad.

    Male - Low 30, White Collar Lower-Middle Class, Rep but is considering going Dem for Obama
    Male - Upper 20, unemployed, Poverty level,  solid Dem like his mom- Hillary

    Males will vote. The three in my household (hubby, last male listed and myself) will all vote for Hillary and .... we will all go together to vote.

    Very interesting, espec. in Obama's (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:09:17 PM EST
    home state (Clinton's also, of course).  No need to tell us this, but we have no information re ethnic background.

    Interesting (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:18:56 PM EST
    My husband is American Indian. I'm tri-racial (White, American Indian and Black in that order)with Blonde hair (gray but I'm not going there) and blue eyes. In my family you are either fair or dark... not much in between. One look at my husband and you can see he is American Indian.

    Kid were raised by liberals... even when the "L" word was considered a dirty word.


    Does the American Indian (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:22:28 PM EST
    demographic ever make the media re primaries?

    Not that (none / 0) (#16)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:28:11 PM EST
    I have seen. I believe we are considered white because we do not live on a reservation.

    We have experienced racism... due to my husband being so dark and me being so fair.


    Maya's poem (none / 0) (#10)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:14:09 PM EST
    I have the link right here if I can be excused for posting it this way....so sorry as I cannot do a hyperlink....You will notice that it is a UK newspaper that published the news....Almost a total MSM blackout...disgraceful....


    Here: (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:20:20 PM EST
    Thank you! (none / 0) (#14)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:23:59 PM EST
    Thanks so much Oculus, I feel so stupid but I have tried and tried and have yet to master it...

    Try This (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by squeaky on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:29:00 PM EST
    1.copy your link's address (http://www.......)

    2. highlight word or phrase in your comment that will be the link

    3.press the link button over the comment box (looks like chain)

    4.paste the link into the link box that appears
    press ok

    I had trouble figuring it out at first too


    I'm telling you, my method is fool proof! (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 02:27:31 PM EST
    BTW, did you read both articles about the poem at Guardian Unlimited.  One referred to Robert Frost reading his poem at JFK's inaugual and Maya Angelou doing the same at Bill Clinton's.  Quite moving.

    generation hippy vs. gen's x &y (none / 0) (#25)
    by sef on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 03:08:10 PM EST

    Great post.

    The real battle here is generational.  Although Obama is technically a boomer, his politics are those of the post-Boomer generations. Generation hippy -- which toppled their parent's generation in 1992 with the election of the first Clinton -- still want "one of their own" and not the symbol of those who will soon be replacing them.

    Like the generations before them, as generation hippy ages they vote at higher and higher percentages. As a result of more boomers &  voting as a percentage, Hillary should eventually win this thing.

    Finally, although there are a considerable number of Americans older than the boomers, there is no evidence that these folks aren't voting, at least on the democratic side, the person closest to their own generation in age & experience, Hillary.

    Our household is baby boomer and we have (none / 0) (#26)
    by Grandmother on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 08:55:13 PM EST
    4 graduate degrees between us.  According to what I have read (and actually know about people in our circles)we should be in the BO camp.  However, we are strong HRC supporters. Our daughter is a strong HRC supporter although husband is probably a republican at heart. It doesn't matter he won't vote.  She will.

    Amongst my closest female friends, all lawyers, all baby boomers, all HRC supporters.  And we have all said over and over again - who votes - we do. And women this year are more passionate than ever. And the press is doing a pretty good job of firing us up with all of the negativity towards HRC - especially Chris Matthews.  

    Among the die hard Dems - Obama shot himself in the foot for his remarks about Ronald Reagan. Most of us came from union families (remember when we had unions in this country) and know what Reagan and his cronies did to the labor movement, women's right, civil rights, and the economy. Too bad for Obama that so many of us are still alive that remember those horrible years.

    I remember my fist voting experience in 1972 when the "youth vote" was going to win the White House for George McGovern.  Need I say more?

    from one grandmother (none / 0) (#27)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 09:19:15 PM EST
    to another...I agree with you, I am here in the west as well altho not in the same state...I also think the non graciousness displayed by Obama after the Nevada caucus will further fuel the dyed in the wool democrats against Obama...Bad move...

    Right, McGovern endorsed Hillary - for good reason (none / 0) (#28)
    by 1950democrat on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 10:05:50 PM EST
    McGovern endorsed HIllary this fall, saying in effect that Obama should wait his turn ("Ladies first").

    Hillary and Bill worked for McGovern in 72. They all saw what happens when you pack caucuses with young people and nominate someone the rank and file will not support in November. Someone not well known, with a lot of supporters who can be labeled by the GOP as freaks.

    Maybe McGovern and the Clintons learned from 1972, and don't wan't to see the party damaged again. Obama might actually have a chance against the GOP in 2016 if the Clintons get in now and clean up the voting process, for one thing.