Polling in the last few days shows that most Americans (58%) want to take action to shape and change the climate crisis, rather than simply adapting to what happens and making the best of it (42%). That includes 80% of Democrats, 54% of independents and even 37% of admitted Republicans. All age groups agree, though more people under 45 agree than people over 45. Polling also shows that most Americans (58-25%) approve of withdrawing from Afghanistan-- even a slight plurality of Republicans! Yet on both these issues and countless others, elected Republicans are systematically obstructing progress and preventing the outcomes wanted by majorities-- and especially by majorities of millennials and younger voters.
Another YouGov poll for CBS released this morning shows that 75% of us think the jury reached the right verdict convicting Derek Chauvin of murder in the death of George Floyd, a majority view that spans across all racial, age and partisan groups. Except... just barely among Republicans. And Republican spokespeople are fuming about the decision, practically rending their clothes and setting their hair on fire.
Who is noticing how out of step Republican office-holders are with mainstream thought? Younger people-- and, according to an AP report today, they're reshaping political geography. Nicholas Riccardi and Mike Schneider wrote that millennials are moving to cities like Orlando, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix and Denver and transforming the states from red to purple or, like Colorado, blue.
While Texas Republicans try to deny reality with restrictive voting laws, young people in Houston, Dallas-Ft Worth have already help defeat Republicans and elect Democrats to Congress. Relocations by millennials "have reshuffled politics. Once solidly conservative places such as Texas have seen increasingly large islands of liberalism sprout in their cities, driven by the migration of younger adults, who lean Democratic. Since 2010, the 20-34-year-old population has increased by 24% in San Antonio, 22% in Austin and 19% in Houston, according to an Associated Press analysis of American Community Survey data. In November’s election, two states that also saw sharp growth in young people in their largest cities-- Arizona and Georgia-- flipped Democratic in the presidential contest."
[P]laces with both cheaper housing, growing economies and recreational amenities have become popular. Colorado was the third most popular place for young adults to relocate to since 2015, gaining more than 20,000 new young adults from elsewhere each year, according to Frey’s analysis of early census data. The state has boomed over the past decade as its libertarian lifestyle, outdoor attractions and growing knowledge-based economy have drawn young people from across the country.
As a result, Denver’s skyline is regularly pockmarked with construction cranes. Apartment complexes are springing up from parking lots. For when those renters want to have children and buy homes, waves of new suburban subdivisions are emerging in the shadow of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
As mostly college-educated transplants have relocated to Denver and its satellite communities, Colorado has gone from being a solidly Republican state to a competitive swing state to a solidly Democratic one. It’s a pattern that some political experts expect could be replicated in other states importing loads of young people, even traditionally conservative Texas.
Sydney Kramer is typical of many new Colorado arrivals. The 23-year-old moved to the university town of Boulder in January to begin graduate studies in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. She could have stayed in Miami, a natural location for someone of her interests and where she finished her undergraduate studies. But Kramer was depressed by Florida’s anti-science turn under Republican state control.
“The government and policy hasn’t necessarily caught up there yet,” Kramer said of Florida, noting that state regulations barred the use of the term “climate change” in some official documents under the previous governor. “Everybody here has a high level of education, is really educated about climate change.”
You think young people are going to think twice about moving to a place like this? Believe me, it isn't just Sydney Kramer who thought about it and looked for an alternative option. As former Orlando congressman Alan Grayson noted after hearing about the ruling, "The Republicans-- always on the wrong side of history." And that certainly goes way beyond Trump, who is, after all, as much a symptom of what's wrong as the cause of what's wrong.
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, also released today shows the Republican Party upside down in terms of approval. The Democrats have a 39% approval compared to the Republicans' 32%. And 47% of respondents want to see a Democratic-controlled party, while just 42% want to see it controlled by the Republicans. In fact asked if government should do more to help solve problems (a Democratic Party value) and meet the needs of people or if government is already doing too many things (the GOP cry) better left to business and individuals, the former proposition won 55-41%. And that's reflected in how voters see the infrastructure bill that the Democrats are trying to pass in the faced of conservative obstruction. 59% of voters like the bill, compared to just 21% who oppose it.