According to an article in in The Carville-Greenberg Memo yesterday, older citizens are turning against the Republican Party. Part of this is not surprising. As Digby noted this morning, older more conservative voters die off to be replaced by younger less conservative voters. But the results of recent polling go way beyond that.
Consider, for example, that Republicans had a 21 percentage point advantage among senior voters in 2010. Now, among those likely to vote in 2014, the advantage is only 5 percentage points. That’s huge. In 2010, seniors made up 23% of those who voted. If these numbers hold, that would mean that the 2014 election will go 3.7 percentage points in the Democrats’ direction compared to 2010. That’s over half the deficit of the 2010 election. And that’s just based upon the senior vote.
There are other bits of data. I was interested to see that they drilled down a bit into the favorability ratings. For example, 55% of seniors say that the Republican Party is too extreme. That’s a very bad number for them. Most people don’t pay attention to politics. They don’t know, for example, that the Republican House has now voted 40 times to defund Obamacare. And even if they did, they would respond with a Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?” But it looks now that all the work of the Democrats over the past two years is paying off. The Republican brand used to be “fiscal rectitude” and “strong national security.” Now it looks like “extremist.”
As I’ve argued again and again, the Republicans really have painted themselves into a corner. You can only push ideology so far before it becomes unmoored from reality. And it isn’t like this is something we’ve only seen on the right. The extreme left in this country (which never had any power) back a few decades were constantly at war with each other over minor disagreements about ideology. That’s what happens when a movement gets crammed together in a small ideological galaxy on the edge of the universe. They can’t move any further out so they squabble about who the real socialist is. Or as we see in the Republican Party: who the “Constitutional conservative” (or whatever) is. This is, after all, a group that now claims they lost their way because George Bush Jr was not a real conservative. Jeez!
So is David Atkins right when he asks, Could Republicans Really Lose in 2014? As I noted above, it won’t happen with the senior vote alone. And I stand by my prediction that the Democrats will not take back the House in 2014. But this movement amongst our oldest citizens is good news and it makes 2014 look a lot better.