Subject: California: The Future Belongs to Us
One story that has not been highlighted in the stories about the
elections in California is that, when the results are broken down, they
promise a much more progressive future for California.
The most obvious fact is that while 50% of the population of California
will soon be non-white, over 75% of those voting were white. It is
estimated that over half of the Latino population is now under 16, but as
they achieve adulthood, that will radically change the voting patterns of
To give some idea, while 55% of California's voters voted for Pete
Wilson, 69% of the Latino voters supported Brown. And while much is made
of the fact that a minority of Latino voters supported 187, the fact
remains that the vast majority ended up voting against it.
As significantly, the Governor's race was polarized by age group. While
California voters 60 and older supported Wilson by a 67% margin, voters
under 30 supported him at a rate of only 42%. The polarization around
Prop 187 was quite similar with older voters overwhelmingly supporting
it, while the majority of younger voters voted against it.
Beyond that, third party voting is highest among young voters in
California. Almost no one over 60 voted third party for Governor and
only 4% of over-60 voters supported third party candidates in the
Senatorial race. But 6% of voters under 30 supported a third-party
choice for Governor, while 12% of voters under 30 voted third party in
the Senatorial race.
Despite all the rhetoric of apathy and conservatism of youth, the reality
of this election is that there is a new polarization across the
"generation gap" that could radically change the complexion of this
country if it is cultivated by the left and deepened. The mass media may
not be picking up on this change, but it is there and we need to focus
on the opportunities opening up with these changes.
***** Nathan Newman: new...@garnet.berkeley.edu *******