Why are seniors changing? (Take a look at who they are...)
David wrote below about this Carville-Greenberg polling memo showing that seniors seem to be changing their minds about policy and the GOP. Its summary starts like this:
There’s something going on with seniors: It is now strikingly clear that they have turned sharply against the GOP. This is apparent in seniors’ party affiliation and vote intention, in their views on the Republican Party and its leaders, and in their surprising positions on jobs, health care, retirement security, investment economics, and the other big issues that will likely define the 2014 midterm elections...
(I think there's evidence that the Republicans are seeing these numbers too, even if some of their vocal constituents are arguing with them.) The question is why the change? Everyone knows that seniors are a bunch of rightwingers who hate every kind of progress right?
Well, "seniors" change characteristics all the time. Obviously, this is because the older cohort is always dying off and younger people turn into seniors. Every single day. And there is a huge group of "younger" people becoming seniors right now. They are called baby boomers and they have a very different set of beliefs, experiences and political affiliations than those who are dying out.
Now, it's wrong to assume that boomers are liberals simply because they had a very showy counter-culture in their youths. In fact, there was always a boatload of boomers who were conservative even then. But no matter what, these particular seniors are not their grandparents or parents and never have been. They have lived very different lives and have a whole different set of expectations and experience.
It's a big mistake for anyone, especially in politics, to simply assume they are a bunch of doddering old white people who are living in the 50s. Neither is it realistic to assume they are modern conservatives. They came up before the Reagan revolution after al