This will be the first in a series of posts about the significant demographic groups that will play a critical role in the election of 2012. These numbers are drawn from aggregating six polls taken by JZ Analytics since January 2012. I have combined the data to represent a total sample of 4500 likely voters.
The Private Generation 1926-1945
This is not your grandfather's senior citizen - not those with memories of the Great Depression and inspired by FDR. This is the most conservative of all age groups. While my polling shows all voters favoring the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district over the Republican candidate 40% to 37%, The Privates tilt for the Republican 56% to only 27%. Only 28% grant President Obama a positive job rating.
Many factors spell out why they are conservative, but the demographics are clear: while 74% of all likely voters are white , 88% of Privates are white. Only 1% are Hispanic, 8% are African American, and .5% are Asian Pacific. The Privates clearly represent an America that demographically no longer exists.
The Woodstockers, 1946-1964
If the Private Generation is leading the way in redefining the age of "encore living", Woodstockers are not ready to give it up. This is the first cohort where one million will reach the age of 100 and are determined to make the rest of their lives really count. Woodstockers will revolutionize both non-governmental agencies and workplace with skills and experience.
Four in five (80%) are white, only 5% are Hispanic and 10% African American, just 2% Asian Pacific. Woodstockers have one foot planted in two different cultures: origins in an older America and parents of America's First Global Citizens, American's twenty-somethings, who they have enabled and imparted. By 43% to 40%, they prefer Governor Mitt Romney over President Obama, however they are more likely to be Democrats (39%) than Republicans (34%).
The Nikes (1965-1978)
This age cohort came into its own in a world where everything was falling apart all at once. And the burden was on them, from a young age, to rely on themselves, to make something happen, to "just do it". This is the Nike Generation. They do not like government and they are libertarian. While they tend to be slightly more Democrat in their party identification than Republican (37% to 33%), by a factor of almost two to one (43% to 24%) they are more likely to call themselves "conservative" than "liberal". But the essence of their conservatism is not to be intrusive fundamentalists; rather it is to not have anyone or anything (government, politicians , religion, corporation, the Boy Scouts, whatever) tread on them and their rights. Nikes are on the cusp of the new America: 73% are white - about the national average of national likely voters -- 13% are Hispanic, 9% are African American and 3% are Asian Pacific. They are just old enough to look into the mirror and see the "us" of the future. They also are more likely to be Democrats 38% to 33%, but prefer Mr. Obama 45% to Mr. Romney's 38%.
The First Globals (1979-1993)
It is easy to see why First Globals are different. Only 61% identify themselves as white in our surveys - 13 points fewer than the national as a whole-- 17% are Hispanic, 15% are African American, and 6% Asian Pacific. They are the age group most likely to have a passport (58%) - 7 points higher than Nikes, 21 points higher than Woodstockers, and 11 points higher than Privates. They are far more likely than any of the others to call themselves "liberal" (38%) - that is 14 points more than Nikes, 19 points more than Woodstockers, and 24 points more than Privates. And they look to be the most reliably Democrat - 44% -- while only 26% say they are Republican.
The terrorist attacks against the U.S. in 2001 did not turn this group inward. Rather it piqued their interest in other people. Through technology they had already been living in a world exposing them to global brands, fashion, and music. They were the beneficiaries of attendance in multi-cultural schools. They were more likely to play soccer than Little League. How do we go to war against people who listen to the same music and dress the same way? They are the least likely of any age cohort to feel that American culture is inherently superior to the cultures of Latin America, the Arab World, Asia, and Africa. And they elected a president in 2008 who they had told me in late 2004 (when he was merely a state senator and a U.S. Senator-elect) "looks just like us".