Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Still FDR's Pittsburgh

yeah, yeah...   Gerontocracy again. Still is an interesting research topic broadly. Deomgraphics, the timing of school calendars and the political environment here that heightens the role of primary elections all conspire to make the region here what must be the oldest political demographic in the nation.  I speculate more so than most anywhere in Florida even.  I bet a lot of those snowbirds actually are voting here if anywhere.  So we are a harbinger of what voting will look like most everywhere else in the future.  I am not sure the political scientists have fully taken grasp of what that means beyond the obligatory impact on Social Security politics.. but as we know, all politics is local and the impacts will extend down to every elected school board member in the nation eventually. 

Anyway....   This is the what CP put out from what I culled out of voter data:

and as much as folks don't like to hear it... low turnout is mostly a younger voter phenomenon.  Old folks have much more stable voting particicpation.   I have not figured it out yet, but I bet the spring election's low turnout was even more age-biased than typical in terms of who actually cast a ballot.   As for this coming non-election in November.  Let's see.  No presidential election.  Nothing interesting at the state level.  Mayor, or mayors collectively? Nada.   Yeah, the Allegheny Chief Executive race is a real barn burner.  It may be about as bad as it gets this fall turnout wise which will means the ephemeral young voter will remain an oxymoron

Maybe that big library referendum will turn voters out within the city of Pittsburgh proper?


Anonymous DBR96A said...

Back 10 years ago when it was fashionable to complain about how "hostile" Pittsburgh was to young people, I noted that Pittsburgh had x% of its population between the ages of 18 and 34, but that age segment as a percentage of total voters in 2001 was x-y%, with y being some number greater than 10 but less than 15. I then notified anybody who complained about the city ad nauseum of those numbers, and asked why the city should accommodate them if they don't even care enough to vote. All I heard was the chirping of crickets. Apparently one thing that young people in Pittsburgh have in common with old people is that some of them just aren't happy unless they're bitching about something. Vote or shut the hell up.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 6:24:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I don't know if Pittsburgh is hostile to young people, but it sure is a huge pain in the ass to get used to if you were raised somewhere with functional public services and actual infrastructure.

It's all well and good to encourage people to vote*, but more voting isn't sufficient. Of all the places I've lived, this is the one in which voting in local elections matters the least. I've lived here eight years without a contested city council election**. I think maybe one school board election was contested in the primary, but it wasn’t close. There's only been one mayoral race that was competitive and biology undid that. The past election was the first time I’ve seen another name on the ballot for the state legislature in my district, not that it was ever “contested” in a meaningful way. As far as I know Doyle hasn’t had a real challenger since his first win and his 2010 challengers were not entirely sane.

If it wasn’t for the fact that they sell cookies at the polling place, I don’t think I could make myself vote outside of president/senate/governor/county exec races.

* I’m lying. I’m still annoyed about the 800 times I was called during Oct/Nov 2008.

** Apologies to Chris Z and Josh Wanderer, but I don’t want to tell two lies in the same comment.

Thursday, September 15, 2011 10:09:00 AM  

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