Generational Vote Post-Mortem
Posted On November 13, 2012
Now that the 2012 election is over, the generational breakdown of the vote is no longer a matter of speculation but one of record. Exit polling tells which age groups showed up and for whom they voted, a long with a raft of other demographic data.
One of the key questions we looked at going into the election was generational turnout, particularly of Millennials, which proved decisive in the 2008 race. Going into the election, polls indicated that Millennials still favored the incumbent but were likely to turn out less. In the end, Millennials actually increased their share of the vote from 18% to 19%, answering questions about their voter enthusiasm. Millennials preference for the current incumbent diminished only slightly (60-37 in 2012), Gen Xers split their vote, Boomers voted for the challenger by about a 5-point margin and Matures likewise by an 11-point margin. Matures made up only about 16% of the electorate – less than Millennials.
It turns out, as has been reported since the election, that the incumbent’s campaign conducted a skillful demographics-based voter turnout operation. By extensively researching and targeting demographics, including generational ones, likely to vote in their favor, they were able to create a favorable electorate. In other words, they identified the same lack of enthusiasm that we noticed, and neutralized it with a sophisticated demographic and generational marketing campaign. Proof that generational marketing can be very effective.