JONATHAN CHAIT SEPTEMBER 29, 2010
Why are young voters so unenthusiastic about voting? Not because they're disillusioned. Because they're satisfied with how things are going and feel little urgency. Here's Political Wire:
The latest NBC/WSJ poll found that young people much less enthusiastic about voting in the midterm elections than older people. Just 35% of those 18-34 years-olds are enthusiastic about the midterm elections, versus 65% of seniors.
A Congressional Connection poll may have found the reason: When asked if they were satisfied "with the way things are going in this country today," 54% of 18-29 year-olds said "yes," compared with just 28% of 30-49 year-olds, 22% of 50-64 year-olds, and 19% of 65+ year-olds.
Meanwhile, Brendan Nyhan suggests that, contra my speculation, Democrats aren't necessarily less able than Republicans to sustain their enthusiasm. (Though he is working off a very limited data set.)