Four of the six states where that disparity hit 49 points or more were among the most hotly contested battlegrounds of the 2008 election. They all went blue this year and given the huge difference in voting patterns along generational lines in each of them, they could go from purple to blue in another few decades as the more conservative voters age out. Here’s a look at
Barack Obama took the Buckeye state by a little under five points. He lost by 11 points with voters over 65 but won by a staggering 55 with those under 30.
It’s not surprising that senior citizens gave McCain a double digit victory in the state. Since 1976 the Republican candidate for President has done better in
As that reliably Republican demographic ages out and these younger, considerably more Democratic voters become a larger segment of the state’s electorate it could become a more solidly blue state. One caveat though:
The Tar Heel state provided Barack Obama’s narrowest victory in the country, and young voters had a lot to do with it. He racked up a 48 point victory with that demographic while losing senior citizens by 13 points for an overall generational disparity of 61 points.
In migration is helping to fuel the blueward trend in the state. A PPP study conducted last August found there was a 13 point difference in the Presidential margin between voters who were born in
The voters who put Jesse Helms into office time and time again are being replaced in the electorate by these much more progressive younger voters. They put Obama over the top this year, and they could have the state wearing a darker shade of blue by the 20s or 30s.
An 80 year old person in
Those older votes who have made the state deep red time and time again still delivered for John McCain this year, giving him their votes by a 24 point margin. But the segment of the electorate under the age of 30 gave Barack Obama its vote by an even wider 28 point spread.
In 2006 the state saw major gains for Democrats in its Congressional delegation, and in 2008 the new generation of voters gave Barack Obama a surprising victory in the state. The Democratic trend of younger voters in the state and the aging of the most consistently Republican ones has the potential to make Democratic Presidential victories in the future more of a regular thing than the novelty it was last year.
Although the state did vote for Bill Clinton twice, he didn’t earn better than 44% of the vote either time and other than those two instances it had not voted Democratic since the Johnson landslide of 1964. The older voters who helped make it such a consistently Republican state over the years voted that way again in 2008, giving John McCain their vote by 13 points.
Younger voters in the state, however, went for Obama by 13 points. The Democratic youth movement is also being fueled by the increase in the state’s Hispanic vote. Even just from 2004 to 2008 their share of the electorate increased from 10% to 15%, and last year they gave their votes to Obama by a 76-22 margin. It seems safe to say it won’t be another 44 years before a Democrat gets over 50% of the vote in the state.