“The Kids Are Alright.” An epic song of my generation, a hit for Pete Townshend and The Who in 1966. Townshend was a kid of 21 himself at the time and he and the band had a rough, in-your-face presentation. The Who were a band parents might be afraid of, except for the wink, the line every Mum and Dad would recognize: “The Kids Are Alright.”
This seems to be one of the main messages of the 2018 mid-term elections. The younger you are, statistically speaking, the more likely you are to vote Democratic, and among Democrats, the ones most likely to turn you on, to turn you out on Election Day are the progressives. To me at least, that’s progress that promises more progress.
Here’s a different example of that same upward curve. There will be, in January 2019, more female Members of Congress than ever before. The last class, elected to the House almost entirely against the Trump presidential wave set the old record of 85. Once all the votes are in, the new one will be over 100.
The surge in women in Congress is propelled by a new wave. There will be more women, by far, in this Freshman Class, and because many of them are “good stories,” the first of any of several categories, and because many of them have star quality, America is going to see a lot of them on the news. The women’s share of seats in Congress will go from less than a fifth to close to a quarter in one term. Not bad, but for more than half of the voting population, just a step along the way. Progress in normalizing gender-neutral empowerment promises progress.
Like this bit of data: the cohort of women in Congress is not only growing, but like the rest of America, growing more diverse every day. Of the record 40 women of color in the new House, 21 are Black women, 10 are Latinas, six are Asian/Pacific Islanders, two are Native American and one is a Middle Eastern/North African woman.
Honestly, I haven’t seen the data, but I’m gonna guess the feminization of Congress gets disproportional support from younger voters.
President Trump, of course, immediately claimed “success,” the day after Election Day, and has soiled his shirtfront with tears ever since, crying fraud with his usual no evidence.
But here’s what the evidence shows about Trump’s success. He carefully picked his targets, campaigning and endorsing the GOP’s safest winners. Where Trump endorsed, his candidate won 55% of the time, compared to candidates endorsed by Vice President Mike Pence who won less than half of their races. But the districts where Trump cast his blessings were almost twice as Republican as the wider circuit Pence was sent to ride. In the even more carefully chosen races when Trump not only endorsed, but went out and campaigned for the candidate, the Republican won 64% of the time. Exactly the same success rate as Democratic candidates who were campaigned for by Joe Biden. Of those Democrats for whom Barack Obama put in an appearance, 62% won. Success so widely shared can hardly please the President.
As Peter Townshend said, “The Kids Are Alright.”
John Zogby, founder of the “Zogby Poll” and the Zogby companies, is an internationally respected pollster, opinion leader and best-selling author. He has joined with his sons Benjamin and Jeremy in a new company called John Zogby Strategies, a strategic visioning firm specializing in preparing companies and agencies for the coming wave of dynamic changes. Zogby is also the inaugural Director of the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship at his alma mater, Le Moyne College.
His newest book, published in 2016, is entitled We Are Many, We Are One: Neo-Tribes and Tribal Analytics in 21st Century America, is an exploration of the American people from the vantage point of their attributes and values, not demographics or geography.
Zogby writes weekly columns on Forbes.com and contributes a weekly Trump report card to The Washington Examiner’s Washington Secrets, by Paul Bedard. He is also a founding contributor to The Huffington Post. His analytical expertise has also been published on the opinion pages of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.