Beware: Conservatives, Republicans And Seniors Are Most Motivated To Vote In 2016 Election

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A Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll, released on November 9th found that conservatives, Republicans and seniors were much more interested in the 2016 election than groups that lean Democratic. The survey found that millennials were especially disengaged from the 2016 political race, but unmarried women and racial minorities were also significantly less engaged than core Republican constituencies like conservatives, seniors and white men.

Barack Obama won two presidential elections on the backs of what political scientists often call the Rising American Electorate (RAE) – millennials, minorities and single women. While the nation’s changing demographics suggest RAE voters will become more and more powerful, this ascendant coalition risks diluting itself by not turning out in force to vote.

The Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey found that only 42 percent of millennials were extremely interested in the 2016 election, compared to 71 percent of seniors who expressed extreme interest in the 2016 election. While the poll found minority voters and single women to be more engaged than millennials, they too trailed conservatives and Republicans in voter enthusiasm. 60 percent of unmarried women and 63 percent of minority voters were very interested in the election compared to 70 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of conservatives.

While various constituencies can overlap (for example, a person can be a minority Republican or a millennial conservative), the underlying truth is that, on average, demographic groups that support Democrats lag behind demographic groups that vote Republican, in their motivation to cast a vote in the 2016 election.

Democratic activists and political pundits can mock the GOP presidential field as much as they want, but if they aren’t actively engaged in mobilizing Democratic voters in 2016, the outcome in November will be no laughing matter. As PoliticusUSA writer Rmuse noted on Sunday, the November 3rd Kentucky Governor’s election should have been a wake up call.

Democratic organizers need to recognize that many left-leaning voters are not sufficiently engaged in the political process to vote without being given a compelling reason to vote. The Democratic Party needs to put forth a bold agenda and a positive message that cuts through the cynicism about the government that the GOP has cultivated and manipulated to their advantage. Not only do Democrats need to craft a strong inclusive message, but then they have to get out and talk to voters diligently.

Organizers and volunteers need to get Democratic voters to fill out their ballots early wherever possible. For those that aren’t able or willing to vote early, organizers must make a huge push to herd them to the polls on Election Day. The 2016 election is too important to take for granted and Democrats had better recognize that the GOP threat to win is very real, unless we roll up our sleeves and do the work it takes to get our voters motivated enough to cast their ballots.