Catherine Rampell writes in the Washington Post about Millenials. They prefer Bernie Sanders and they are the only age group that likes socialism over capitalism.
Both nationwide, and in the early primary states, Bernie Sanders is thoroughly trouncing Clinton among the under-30 set.
In the Iowa caucuses alone, Sanders beat Clinton 84 percent to 14 percent in this age group, according to entrance polls. That’s a 70-point margin. Just for reference, note that in 2008, in the very same state, among the very same demographic, Barack Obama bested Clinton by “only” 46 points. And Obama was young and cool; Sanders is more of an eccentric-grandpa type.
Why are so many young’uns feeling the Bern?
I see two main reasons.
The first is that, to millennials, Sanders’s socialism is a feature, not a bug.
Much of the current conversation about Sanders’s “democratic socialism” is predicated on whether Americans can look past this supposedly toxic label. But millennials love Sanders not despite his socialism, but because of it.
“Socialism” has never been a dirty word for the current cohort of youth, who either didn’t live through the Cold War or don’t remember it. We are more likely to associate socialism with prosperous, egalitarian, relatively well-functioning Scandinavian states — the kinds of places that produce awesome things like Ikea and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” — than with autocrats who starve their people.
Many of us also entered the job market just as unbridled capitalism appeared to blow up the world economy.
Perhaps for this reason, millennials actually seem to prefer socialism to capitalism.
In a recent YouGov survey, 43 percent of respondents under age 30 said they had a favorable opinion of socialism, while just 32 percent said the same about capitalism. Among all ages, races, geographic regions, genders, party affiliations and income levels, millennials were the only demographic that held socialism in higher regard than capitalism.
It’s not just Sanders’s socialist label that sells; it’s his socialist ideas, too.
To a generation that’s broke, in debt, underemployed and stuck in its parents’ basements, promises of a political revolution, more equitable distribution of (other people’s) wealth, a more robust social safety net and free college can sound pretty appealing.
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