Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Road to Olympia: The Millennials

This is the first in a series of articles on this fall’s Washington state legislative races.

Democrats currently enjoy 60% plus supermajorities in both houses of the Washington legislature. Republican candidates across the state are aiming to undo this and restore balance in Olympia.

The road to Olympia for these Republicans runs through two key suburban swing legislative districts: the 6th in Spokane and the 47th in King County. I will be covering the Republican races in these two districts extensively between now and November.

The Millennials (voters aged 18-29) were considered a key demographic in the 2008 election of Barack Obama. But the continuing recession has soured many Millennials, who face unemployment at much higher rates than their elders. They fret over deficits and most don’t think they will be better off than their parents. In other words, many Millennials don’t think Obama and the Democrats have lived up to their promise of hope and change.

A recent Harvard Institute of Politics study found that among Millennials who voted for Obama, only 44% plan to vote in this year’s midterm elections versus 53% of McCain voters. Among Republican Millennials, 41% say they will definitely be voting versus 35% of Millennial Democrats.

This enthusiasm gap was widely evident at last Sunday’s Kent Cornucopia Days parade.

29-year old Joe Fain, Republican candidate for the Washington Senate in the 47th Legislative District, had some three dozen supporters walking with him during the parade. Most were young, and all were enthusiastic. The same could not be said of Fain’s opponent, Sen. Claudia Kauffman, who had about half the number of supporters as Joe.

Republican 47th LD House candidate Mark Hargrove had nice contingent on hand for the parade:

Here is Republican 47th LD House candidate Nancy Wyatt:

Attention residents of Eastern Washington. Rep. Susan Fagan (R-Pullman) was on hand walking in the parade with Nancy Wyatt. Tired of Seattle liberals calling all the shots? You can’t vote in King County, but you sure can donate and volunteer for Republicans running for office in King County. Get busy!

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