New People & New Map


Offering Up a New Version of our Presentation, the Dawn of a New Politics, Friday Lunchtime

If have 45 minutes or so this Friday at lunch feel free to come by our DC offices or watch me try out a new version of our powerful presentation, The Dawn of a New Politics, newly updated to include the very latest information and a look back at the 2008 elections.  You can find info on how to watch the live webcast or come by our office for lunch and a good show here.   Feel free to invite others and spread through your networks.  The livecast starts at 12:45 eastern.  We will begin taking questions, including from our web audience at 1:30pm, and end at 1:45pm or so. 

Hope you can make it.  Will be worth your time on a spring Friday.  Thanks to Sam Dupont and Dan Boscov-Ellen for all their hard work in helping produce this new edition of our compelling look at the big structural changes driving American politics today.

Simon Rosenberg Presents: The New Dawn

Please join us this Friday, May 29, at 12:15pm for a presentation of "Dawn of a New Politics" by Simon Rosenberg.

Simon Rosenberg has delivered his presentation "Dawn of a New Politics" all across the country over the past several years: At the DNC in Denver, twice for the House Democratic Caucus, on the Google campus, and recently before members and staff of the DSCC and DAGA, among many other gatherings.

This engaging, highly-produced presentation makes a big argument on how politics is changing in America today, and offers ideas and strategies for how progressives can replicate our 20th century success in this new and dynamic century.

Simon has recently updated the presentations with new arguments and slides, including new analysis of the forces behind the 2008 election. Even if you've seen the presentation before, this new version will be fresh and engaging!

We cordially invite you to join us-- either here in our event space, or via Web cast-- to be among the first to watch and engage with this revamped presentation.

The event will begin at 12:15, and the Web cast will start at 12:45p.m. Follow this link to watch the Web cast.

Please RSVP for the event (if you'll be coming to the offices... no need to RSVP for the Web cast).


NDN Event Space
729 15th St. NW 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Winograd and Hais: The Republican Party Ignores Young 'Millennials' at Its Peril

Los Angeles Times

By Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

If the Republican Party thinks it has problems now, just wait. The party's incredibly poor performance among young voters in the 2008 election raises questions about the long-term competitiveness of the GOP.

The "millennials" -- the generation of Americans born between 1982 and 2003 -- now identify as Democrats by a ratio of 2 to 1. They are the first in four generations to contain more self-perceived liberals than conservatives.

And a recent Daily Kos tracking poll should send shudders down the spine of any Republican who understands how powerful a voting bloc this generation could become over the next decade.

Only 9% of millennials polled expressed a favorable opinion of the Republican Party. Only 7% were positive about the GOP's congressional leaders. By contrast, 65% of millennials had a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, and a majority also approved of congressional Democrats.

Though many people question the political sophistication of the millennials, they have been instilled with egalitarian and participatory values by their parents since birth.

This child-rearing produced a generation that was wide open to the personal appeal and message of Barack Obama and his party. Moving forward, the initial preference of millennials for President Obama and the Democrats will remain in place for a lifetime unless Republicans can quickly adapt their message and find a messenger who can speak to this powerful new force in American politics.

Only 41% of all millennials were eligible to vote in 2008, yet their overwhelming support for Obama transformed his win from what would have been a squeaker into a solid victory. Obama's popular-vote margin over John McCain was about 9.5 million nationally; millennials accounted for nearly 7.6 million of those votes.

In the 2010 off-year election, half of millennials will be eligible to vote, representing about a fifth of the overall electorate. By 2012, 60% will be eligible to vote, and they could make up about a quarter of the American electorate when Obama runs for reelection. By 2020, when virtually all millennials will be over 18, they will represent 36% of the electorate and will completely dominate elections and the political agenda of America.

And it seems likely that this civic generation, like its "Greatest Generation" great-grandparents, will vote in big numbers. Turnout among voters under 30 has been rising steadily since millennials began to replace the alienated and more cynical Gen-Xers in this age group. From a low of 37% in 1996, turnout increased to 53% of all eligible millennials, and 59% in the key battleground states in 2008.

Their unity of opinion and their numbers will make millennials' preferences for economic activism, a non-intrusive approach to social issues by government at any level and a multilateral interventionism by America in foreign affairs the policy paths to political success during the next decade.

It is simply inconceivable that the Republican Party can craft a winning strategy between now and then that doesn't accommodate these ideas.

But so far, Republicans appear to be tone-deaf on the issues that millennials care about.

Millennials have been reared with a desire to serve their community, and the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act provides them an opportunity to do just that, while at the same time dealing with their single biggest financial worry -- the high cost of a college education. Unfortunately, all but 25 House Republicans voted against the bill, despite its co-sponsorship by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Millennials also are experiencing higher levels of unemployment than any other generation. They expect the federal government to take an active role in fixing that problem and support redistributing income if necessary. But the almost-unanimous Republican opposition to the "recovery" act helped convince millennials that only one party actually understood their problems and was prepared to act in accordance with their beliefs.

Polls consistently show millennials are more committed to environmental protection than any generation in American history, willing to sacrifice economic growth or endure higher prices in order to save the planet. Given the millennials' overwhelming concern with the environment, House Minority Leader John Boehner's comments recently that carbon dioxide isn't a real threat because "we all breathe it out" and, besides, "cows give out a lot of gas too," went beyond inanity into the realm of political suicide.

The only tentative Republican gesture to millennial power to date is the GOP's sudden fascination with a new social network platform, Twitter. By choosing Twitter -- with its limitations on content -- to connect to millennials, Republicans are actually demonstrating how little they know about this generation's commitment to engaging in the content-rich challenges of rebuilding the nation's civic institutions and national unification.

Republicans will need to find a new message and much better messengers than their last presidential ticket or their current congressional leaders if they want to truly connect with today's young voters. Failure to do so will leave Republicans, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, locked in the dogmas of their quiet past, unable to think and therefore act anew.

Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais are fellows of the think tanks NDN and the New Policy Institute and the coauthors of "Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics."

If the Republican Party thinks it has problems now, just wait. The party's incredibly poor performance among young voters in the 2008 election raises questions about the long-term competitiveness of the GOP.

The Republican Party Ignores Young 'Millennials' at Its Peril

Inauguration Is a 'Generational Touchstone'

San Francisco Chronicle

"This is their moment to demonstrate to America what they think America's future should be like," said Winograd...

Coalition of the Ascendant

National Journal

Roll over FDR and tell Hubert Humphrey the news: A new Democratic coalition has been born.


Reflecting on How Our Concept of Race Is Changing

The Times has a wonderful piece today which takes a deep look into how the concept of race is evolving in America today:

MILWAUKEE — Although the civil rights movement gave Samuel Sallis equality under the law a long time ago, he was left wanting most of his life, he says, for the subtle courtesies and respect he thought would come with it. Being a working-class black man downtown here meant being mostly ignored, living a life invisible and unacknowledged in a larger white world.

Then Mr. Sallis, 69, noticed a change.

“I’ve been working downtown for 30 years, so I’ve got a good feeling for it,” Mr. Sallis said. “Since President Obama started campaigning, if I go almost anywhere, it’s: ‘Hi! Hello, how are you, sir?’ I’m talking about strangers. Calling me ‘sir.’ ”

He added: “It makes you feel different, like, hey — maybe we are all equals. I’m no different than before. It’s just that other people seem to be realizing these things all around me.”

As the readers of this blog know well we believe this nation is in the midst of perhaps its most profound demographic transformation since the arrival of the Europeans here in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.   Due to large waves of non-white immigration over the past 45 years, America has seen its minority population triple, ending what was America's longstanding white-black, majority-minority racial construct.  Current projections have American becoming a majority minority country in the next 30 years. 

It was inevitable, given how our population was changing, that the America of the 21st century would end up having a very different - and much more tolerant - attitude towards race than any America that had come before. But the election and early success of our remarkable President, Barack Hussein Obama, the self-described "mutt," has hastened this process, allowing this nation to begin to truly realize, perhaps more than any time in our history, the radical promise of equality of opportunity offered by our Founding Fathers.

I was born in 1963, the last years of an America before the changes brought about by the Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Immigration Acts of the mid 1960s.   The legacy of this period, of Lyndon Johnson and JFK, of Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others is so profound that sometimes I am literally overwhelmed by all this.  But this week, as we saw images of President Obama horsing around in the Oval Office with Caroline Kennedy, we are reminded that the two beautiful children of our President today are not John-John and Caroline but Malia and Sasha - and what a different, and better world, this is today.

It's Official: Millennials Realigned Politics in 2008

The 2008 election not only marked the election of America's first African-American president, it also saw the strong and clear political emergence of a new, large and dynamic generation and the realignment of American politics for the next 40 years.

The first large wave of the Millennial Generation, about one third of the young Americans born from 1982-2003, entered the electorate to decisively support President-elect Barack Obama. Young voters preferred Obama over John McCain by a greater than 2:1 margin (66% vs. 32%). This is well above the margin given by young voters to any presidential candidate for at least three decades, if not at any time in U.S. history. In 2004, young voters preferred John Kerry to George W. Bush by a far more narrow 10 percentage points (55% to 45%). Moreover, the support of young people for Obama crossed all ethnic lines: he won the votes of a majority of African-American (95%), Latino (76%), and white (54%) young people.

Dispelling the myth that young people never vote, Millennials cast ballots in larger numbers than young voters had in any recent presidential election. About 23 million young people, an increase of 3.4 million over 2004, accounted for almost two-thirds of the overall 5.4 million increase in voter turnout. Their participation increased at a rate greater than older generations. As a result, young voters increased their overall share of the vote from 17 percent in 2004 to 18 percent in 2008. In contrast to previous recent presidential elections, a majority of young people voted in 2008 (53%), and in the competitive battleground states, youth turnout was even higher (59%). This was significantly above the 1996 (37%), 2000 (41%), and 2004 (48%) levels. In the earlier elections, "young people" were primarily members of Generation X, an alienated and socially uninvolved cohort; by contrast, the young voters of 2008 were mostly members of the civic-oriented Millennial Generation.

Their unified support for Barack Obama combined with their high turnout made the Millennial Generation the decisive force in his victory. Young voters accounted for about seven million of Obama's almost nine million national popular vote margin over John McCain. Had young people not voted, Obama would have led McCain by only about 1.5 percentage points instead of seven. Republican Internet guru Patrick Ruffini pointed out that without Millennials, Obama would not have won the combined 73 electoral votes of Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and North Carolina. While he may still have won in 2008 without young voters, Obama's margin and his political mandate would have been far narrower.

Contrary to the hopes of many Republicans, the Millennial Generation's support for Barack Obama is not a one-time phenomenon. Millennials are every bit as supportive of the Democratic Party as they are of Obama personally. Millennials identify as Democrats over Republicans by a 2:1 margin and Pew survey results indicate that they have done so since at least early 2007, well before Obama emerged as a well-known national political figure. More of them consider themselves liberals rather than conservatives (31% to 18%), as well. When it comes to policy, Millennials are liberal interventionists on economic issues, active multilateralists in foreign affairs and tolerant non-meddlers on social issues-a profile that most closely matches the Democratic Party's platform as well as the new President's agenda. Their propensity to vote straight Democratic was clearly evident in 2008 when young voters supported Democratic congressional candidates by about the same margin that they did Obama (63% vs. 34%).

What's more, as with previous civic generations, they are likely to vote a straight ticket for their preferred party for the rest of their lives. The Millennial Generation is ready to take its place as America's next great Democratic civic generation, just as their GI Generation great grandparents did nearly 80 years ago. Welcome to the Millennial Era.

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