If you don’t vote, you’ve still made a political decision. In this year’s election it seems that young voters and minority voters decided to opt out and let older voters and the wealthy decide the future direction of the country. This disengagement in the political process allowed the Republicans to retake the US House of Representatives, decrease the Democratic majority in the Senate, increase the number of Republican Governors, and even change some state Legislatures from Democratic to Republican.
An analysis by Project Vote looked at those who voted in the 2010 General Election on Nov 2, 2010. A research memo from Project Vote, entitled “An Analysis of Who Voted (and Who Didn’t Vote) in the 2010 Election,” done by Dr. Lorraine Minnite found that ” wealthier voters and Americans over the age of 65 surged to the polls in 2010, and increased their support for the Republican party, while young voters and minority voters (who strongly favor Democrats) dropped off at higher rates than in 2006″.
Here is a summary of some of the study’s analysis as posted on the Project Vote news release:
1.Senior citizens turned out in force, with the number of ballots cast by voters over 65 increasing by 16 percent. While making up only 13 percent of the U.S. resident population, Americans in this age group constituted 21 percent of 2010 voters. This age group also significantly increased their support of Republican candidates, from 49 percent in 2006 to 59 percent in 2010.
2. The number of ballots cast by Americans from households making over $200,000 a year increased by 68 percent compared to 2006.
3. Relative to 2008, minority and youth voters dropped out of the voting population at higher rates than whites, undoing much of the gain in demographic parity achieved in 2008.
4. Women—already one of the most reliable voting groups—increased their share of the electorate, and significantly increased their support of the Republican Party.
If Democrats hope to win in 2012, they are going to have to re-energize the youth and minority vote to turn out. These folks need to realize change takes time and they need to be involved for the long haul, not just one election.
And they need to be involved in getting their elected officials to vote for the things they believe in.
And that may mean raising their voices and passions to outshout the Tea Party and Republican Party of No and the anti tax, pro-corporate, pro big banks, pro insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce and all the others that put profit ahead of compassion and fairness.