Wisconsin had an election to chose a member of their Supreme Court. Since it was a statewide election Republicans could not gerrymander districts such that even if they lost the vote they could still win the election by districts.
In this election, a state that is pretty evenly divided went rather heavily for the Democrat, Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz. The Milwaukee County Judge won by 11% – a butt kicking in Wisconsin.
But what I want to discuss is the breakout of the votes for Protosiewicz. According to this twitter thread, Gen Z broke huge (80%)for the Democrat in this race.
The reasons are pretty clear: abortion and gerrymandering are the two most often cited. An analysis on Mashable spells it out:
The balance-deciding win — resulting in the nonpartisan court’s first liberal-leaning majority in 15 years — was driven by record numbers at the polls, with more than 1.7 million people casting their vote in the spring election, representing at least 36 percent of the voting population. The voter engagement, along with early reports of high youth turnout , has spurred reflection on the impact of youth-led civic organizing and the successes of national networks behind the push.
Across the nation, young, issue-based voters have nurtured a growing concern toward protections for what matters to them, their health, and their rights, and they’re using their voices in creative calls to action for generational organizing.
Many Wisconsin voters were focused on a legislative future centered around reproductive justice and voting rights. This year, the court is expected to revisit the state’s outdated 1849 abortion law which bans abortion in nearly all circumstances, and could revisit redistricting maps criticized as gerrymandered
The Republican base will continue to shrink as age and being on the wrong side of issues catches up to them. So their answer to the coming of a tide of younger voters is to do all they can to suppress the vote.
Democrats are on the right side of the issues as noted by the vote in Wisconsin. Abortion and the survival of democracy in the US are just a couple of the issues. Add in action on climate change, access to medical care for everyone, gun violence (all those years of doing active shooter drills) and equality for all as other major issues.
Note also that it is not just Gen Z but also millennials that are watching the issues closely. Meanwhile the baby boom generation is dying out thus cutting Republicans base.
Younger generations are not just jumping for one tribe or the other. They are doing what we are all supposed to do – looking at the issues before deciding who to vote for.
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Yes it’s true, we Boomers are starting to die out, and I don’t expect mass mourning. The oldest Boomers are not yet eighty, however, so we’ll be around for awhile yet.
I do hope younger Americans will remember that some of us Boomers are/were hardcore Democrats who worked hard for environmental protection and human rights, among other causes. And those of us who did our share for those causes are not responsible for the reprehensible actions and views of many of our contemporaries. No generation is a monolith.
Which reminds me that last Friday afternoon, known as “Good Friday” to many Christians, I saw a few hundred cars rolling into the parking lot of a very conservative local megachurch that preaches against the LGBTQ+ community. It looked like most of those cars were carrying people under fifty. Just a reminder that the big problems facing the Democratic Party in Iowa will not die when we Boomers do.