June 3rd, 2008
07:42 PM ET
10 years ago

Schneider: The generation gap persists

(CNN) - The youngest and oldest voters in South Dakota’s Democratic primary overwhelmingly support their candidate – but as in many contests this primary season, both groups have landed on opposite sides of the Democratic divide, according to early exit polls.

The youngest voters, those aged 18-29, supported Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, 65 to 35 percent. Voters 65 and older had the exact same level of support for Clinton, voting for her 65-35 percent over Obama.

It’s a problem that’s plagued Obama all year: how to make his case to seniors, who have been critical to Democratic presidential hopes in past campaigns. Can he win them over by November?

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Cynthia

    Democrats unite to beat the Republicans in November.

    June 3, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. Anita - AZ

    Well, lack of experience is scary to older people, but look what experience brought us so far. Iraq War, bad economy, NAFTA, high unemployment, gas prices too high. I've had it with experienced politicians, Thank you very much. How about ones that have the people's best interest in mind? A novel idea, indeed.

    June 3, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. Griff

    James R Jr??? Wo are you... Borack OBama will. do what;s necessary. HIllary Clinton will bend to his Wim.. Idiot.. Who are these people, that come on CNN and Talk Garbage... Borack Obama is Obsolite without Hillary Clinton... Hillary Clinton is everything, without Obama..... You still don't get it CNN..... You Break the New's..... YOu do not Make "The New's".... Hillary Clinton will still be an Icon, after: Borack Obama, is long Gone..... Live with it, even if Jack Cafferty can't....

    June 3, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Dave Nittel

    Evidently the elderly see the name Clinton on a ballot and take comfort in the familiar; like a visit from an old friend. "Change" and "Senior Citizens" are not terms traditionally linked it's true... but to all older voters I say this: A vote for anyone besides Obama is a vote for the status quo; you are saying with your vote that everything in DC is just fine and we shouldnt change a thing. Sounds a lot like nails being driven into your grandchildren's caskets doesn't it?

    June 3, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. RB

    Too tough to teach an old dog a new trick! They can all go vote for John McSame and watch their grand kids go to Iraq! I hope they understand that IS the option.

    June 3, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Ms H.

    What a stupid article.
    The numbers don't match the argument: the older white voters in North Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota and Idaho voted for Barack...

    Give it up you racist, narrow-minded, simpletons...and try some real reporting for a change. Oh, wait, that's right....

    Reporters today are nothing but flacks working at various media.... read those press releases and regurgitate 'em without even a smidgen of thought....

    June 3, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. lacma

    yeah we need change in the white house, by getting all the old voters.

    Many political pundits say that Obama should not have Hillary for a VP because it is against the idea of change... well if that's the case, then he doesn't deserve all those senior citizen voters who don't believe in his "change".

    Like the old saying goes, political pundits, can't have your cake and eat it too.

    June 3, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  8. pam Eugene OR

    I wish the Hillary supporter would STOP blackmailing OBAMA. Don't threaten. Please try to make your case with saying how Barack can defend all of her negatives. Please start with Bill Clinton.

    June 3, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  9. John Smith

    Give it up, the BEST always wins; Obama has won. Therefore, he cannot but be the BEST.

    Where did Hillary's experience get her in this process? She has loaned her campaign and is currently indebted.

    If I were to do a psychological evaluation of these candidates, it will be simple:
    Hillary: inadequate use of resources
    Obama: effective use of limited resources.

    Folks, this is what "opportunity" is all about in this nation; it is not about name recognition! So, give it up– this is Obama's and no one should take it away from him and his supporters!!!!

    June 3, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Bob

    Hillary should wait until the convention. She should make the super delegates put their name on the line for their candidate.

    Then, when Obama loses in November, we can then take the party back by voting out the ones who supported him.

    Hillary 08

    June 3, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. bearroller9640

    Why cant the American people see whats coming? They were so into Bush back in 2000 and now look at this country. it will happen again to us and I will be sitting here laughing at them!!

    June 3, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. David

    The younger generation doesnt have a clue and I feel that they vote for Obama because he is cool.. However, older generation understands and remembers the good times when Bill was in the white house.

    June 3, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Newly Independent in Oregon

    Newly Independent after over 45 years as a Democrat, retired teacher, college educated....that's me.

    And that's me going to write in Hillary in November.

    Nothing will change my mind.

    Obama has his work cut out for him.

    June 3, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. The Guy

    People 65 and older have no real future, and should be prevented from voting.

    June 3, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  15. LA

    The elderly will not vote for the elderly to become president. On a daily basis, they live the mental and physical challenges that advanced age presents. Bush/McCain will not be able to climb that mountain, literally or figuratively. He is elderly, that's just a fact and a negative fact for a presidential candidate.

    June 3, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. Tracey in Las Vegas

    The over 65 Democrats have been Democrats longer than they have been Clinton supporters so I think they will join with the rest of us in November and vote for Obama. I'm sure we will come together when we go to the voting booth in November.

    June 3, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. Mike in NYC

    shannon wrote:

    "Old people tend to be extortionists..."

    Your entry for low I.Q. statement of the evening?

    June 3, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. Mark

    Yeah ok "newly independant"... sure ya are... or what you really mean is your a REPUBLICAN, posing as a democrat trying to divide us..

    NOT WORKING SORRY, we are too smart for that..

    Obama/Clinton 08'!!!

    June 3, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  19. Tennessee

    Obama/Clinton ticket all the way. I'm for that....this will be a true dream ticket.

    June 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |

    The majority of the over 60 crowd will NOT support Obama. Not going to happen. Why? Remember, a lot of this demographic hails from the vestiges of the civil rights movement who feel blacks should “know their place.” A lot of them simply cannot fathom a black man as President. It’s not in their realm of thinking or experience. They’re retired or are retiring, so I don’t think jobs are a concern for them. The economy is an issue for everyone, so that’s a wash/toss-up. They also are not likely to have children serving in Iraq or have any that are of the age to serve in any war. I hate to say it, but as they die out, so too will this mindset. McCain will capture this demographic, dems, reubs, indys and undecided’s, by huge margins.

    June 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  21. oregonrose


    Obama 08

    June 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. Ryan

    Why are the Superdelegates allowing the weaker candidate to win, despite winning less of the popular vote? The delegates should be awarded on a winner-take-all basis, like it is in the General Election.

    June 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Gin

    I don't want Hillary to accept the vice-presidency even if it's offered. She has too much to offer, is too far superior a candidate, to take a back seat to someone as unfit for the presidency as Obama. Obama is in no position to reject her; he can't win without her. No way. He and his surrogates have alienated nearly all of Hillary's supporters. He's a sure-fire loser in November without her on the ticket. Please, Hillary, don't accept his offer should it come. We can't wait to watch him go down in flames come November. Hillary 2012!!

    June 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  24. Bill, Covington

    What I would like to see from Bill Schneider, analyst is:

    A study telling us when you think all those poor stupid 18 to 29 year old screaming fainting caucasian college girls so enamored with the obama will start droping little black and white off-spring in a tribute to their love for the obama. That would be an interesting statistic, and I'll bet all their parents will be proud.

    June 3, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. Felicia

    It's a sad day when so-called americans say they won't vote for Obama just because Hilliary wasn't on the ticket. What if the tables were turned and she did win the nomination, she still wouldn't win the general election if Obama supporters don't vote for her!
    Does she even deserve to be the VP? She started all the mud-slinging and complained about the Fl and Michigan delegates being counted. Nothing she has tried to "win" this nomination has worked. She should be the woMAN she professes to be and campaign for Obama. I'm positive he would have done the same for her!

    June 3, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
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