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. Lourdes

    Obama's supporters are YOUNG and STUPID, period.
    We will teach you young folks a lesson in the General Election.

    One more Hillary supporter for McCain, plus 22 family members. Arriba!

    June 3, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. Belle

    Wow...Old people are now extortionists, folks that vote for Clinton are Racists, and MORE PEOPLE VOTED CLINTON THAN OBAMA!!!!!!

    Tells you what the Obama Party thinks of the MAJORITY of the Democrats!

    June 3, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. KE

    Are the media going to ignore South Dakota and Montana?

    The whole world will not forget this circus.

    June 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. Take the purple pill

    I like the Obama/Webb ticket I would be so disgusted with a Clinton on the ticket. The Clintons have left such a bad taste in the mouths of so many. The fact that she has been so back-handed. Wanting votes from ballot he wasn't even on. Wow. Despite her own supporter made the choice Obama ended getting blamed by the psycho clintonites. But all that and so much more unsaid, I would vote a Obama/Clinton but I'd be so pissed and disappointed in Obama.

    June 3, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. Ken

    I think that most of the over 65 people are in favor of Clinton because when her husband was elected president 16 years ago, that meant that they were 49 years or older and they probaby made alot of money during those years. Of course, what they don't realize is that he had nothing to do with it. It's the economy, stupid! Remember that? And as every economist will tell you, the economy is cyclical.

    I think what the polls are telling us is that the younger people are so sick and tired of the same old Washington bureaucracy. Things just don't seem to ever change. The dem's won't work with the repub's, and the repub's won't work with the dem's. The way it would work would be if they didn't look at what party their fellow congressman or congresswoman / senator is affiliated with, but what their idea represents for the good of the American people. Too many times they let their party dictate how they should vote, and that is a real shame.

    Maybe, just maybe, with Obama as our Commander in Chief, he will be able to begin to instill something that hasn't been in Washington (or very rarely found anymore) – and that is integrity.

    June 3, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. Former Hillary Supporter, Now for Obama.

    To all of so called democrats that are gonna vote for McCain just because Hillary lost....GO AHEAD! There are so millions of Republican's that are also sick of the GOP and like Obama, and Millions more that have been inspired by Obama to vote we don't need you. Also there are enough Democrats that are RATIONAL and would vote based on issues, not sour grapes. You children are a small minority who won't stop the change that most Americans want, and your vindictive ways will get you nowhere.

    June 3, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. K.L. Sullivan

    I agree, we women will not forget this circus either. Howard Dean made a huge mistake deciding to write off the womens vote. He will pay for this on election day..........we will NOT be back.

    June 3, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. Independant now


    June 3, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. CR

    when are you Hillary fans going to wake up, read the media reports, and realize that Clinton, only in Clinton's mind, has the popular vote. She DOES NOT. No popular vote is recorded for caucus states, and Obama won them handily. But the fact that those votes are not recorded is the reason that only delegates count. Do you get it yet? If not now, when? You're fallling for Hillary's snow job and her hope that you continue to not know what's what.

    June 3, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. Johnny West Palm Beach

    So Democracy is Racism now? If we chose not to vote for Obama becuase he has not been in politcs that long and we do not feel that he has the experience to run the country were "RACIST"? shows how badly the human element is. Stupidy reigns on that front!
    Obama/Clinton 08

    June 3, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  11. Lette

    Older people tend to be set in their ways and don't like change. They also grew up in a time where "coloreds" shouldn't have power.

    June 3, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |

    First, I love the photo with this article! LOL

    I think there are HUGE divisions within the Democratic Party right now. I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, but I congratulate our first African-American nominee in history, Barack Obama, tonight. I hope we will also have our first Woman Vice-President as well this year. We have waited a very long time.

    Obama-Clinton 2009!

    June 3, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  13. Karen

    When this race started out I was for Hillary. This is in large part because I didn't know anything about Obama. After Iowa, I started paying attention to why he won that state. I started to listen to him. He moved me. I still supported Hillary. However, she has gotten so negative that I can no longer support her. I also don't believe she would be any good as VP. I would consider her for Sec of State.

    June 3, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  14. Aliou FL

    Obama our next president. White, generations, blacks will come to their senses and forget about their particular hang ups.

    It only makes sense.

    June 3, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  15. Manny

    I remember being young, in college and rabidly for McGovern. I knew those old people were so out of touch with the issues. I guess I showed them didn't I?

    June 3, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Lette

    If more people voted Clinton than Obama, she would be the nominee. Have you seen the pledged delegate count? This is a delegate race you know. Have you seen the popular vote that the networks, opposed to Hillary's camp, have reported?

    June 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Obama should pick McCains mom, whos like 90 to run as his VP, thatll convince the old folks.

    June 3, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Obama 08: Female, 60, white

    Let's see...women for Clinton say they will not vote for Obama, yet will vote for a man who represents a party that has not has a woman run for leader of their party and which has very few women in the roles of leaders in the Congress.....that sounds like a really wise way of thinking.

    I can't help but believe that the examples of your "movement" portrayed at the DNC meeting on the weekend probably turned more voters to Obama that away from them

    You are really acting like the female stereotype that we have fought so hard to combat Shame on you for being such sore, hysterical losers.

    June 3, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  19. Allen

    Get with the program oldies!

    June 3, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  20. Female, Republican

    The only thing that will stop me from voting for Obama is Hillary on the ticket.

    June 3, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |

    Those older ones will catch on once their liveihood is threathen by McCain's policies.

    I am watching him now he is the biggest joke there is, This man is on national TV talking about how our govt. is not in tune with our needs he is the one who gave the address to our economic needs by stating 'Just get a second job" well all of those old Hillary supporters that think this is the right answer for them can go right on over to him otherwise they can learn to appreciate Obama's policies that meets their needs such as no senior making less than 50 ,000 should pay taxes. Health care that they can afford. They had better get to know and understand who is really for them and chose wisely.

    WE DO NOT WANT HILLARY AS VP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 3, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. Mike

    Hi, folks. I've read the comments and must say, I'm really saddened that so many of you want to just equate racism with the majority of older voters not drinking the Obama Kool-aid. The reasons are multiple, but the main one is undoubtably his lack of experience and/or his being too liberal. THAT'S IT. This explains why so many of us decided to vote for Hillary in the primary, and why many of us may just decide that in the end we are better off with John McCain. As a lifelong Democrat whose first vote was cast for Carter in 1976, my #1 problem is a Republican-controlled Congress because I dislike privatization of SS. So, I'm considering voting McCain and then Democratic for any U.S. Congressional and Senate races (we'll have one in Texas). And I urge anyone reading this who feels that Mr. Obama is either too liberal or too inexperienced for your comfort level, then get creative with your ballot in November. We now face a decision of who to vote for, so we are now the swing voters, just like Independents, whose support Obama has been steadily losing since Texas/Ohio primary night. I'm going to vote my conscience, I'm not going to waste my vote with a write-in which is not allowed in some states if they lost the primary, and I'm not going to sit it out, no way. McCain is a proven moderate and a compromiser who will reach across the aisle. My God, he was courted by Daschle and Co. in 2001 to pull a Jeffords and become a Democrat. With a divided Congress or a Dem-controlled one, it will be a centrist governance and to me much wiser a choice than a huge expensive lab experiment into total liberalism. So please don't insult yourselves by accusing racism when maybe it's because you lack the experience and wisdom to recognize the difference!

    June 3, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. Helen

    To the Guy
    A stupid remark like 65 year olds should not be allowed to vote means either your are about 10 yrs old or a total moron. I am 66 and just let someone try to stop me from voting. Even though I am writing in Hillary!!!!!

    June 3, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  24. RJ, CA

    I am so tired of young people bashing the "older: generation (by the way, what is "older"? I know a lot of young people who act older than the oldest person I know) .

    First of all, it is because of the older generation that you are here. It is because of them you have the freedoms you enjoy today. It is because of them you received an education. It is because of them that you now have the fredom to "bash" them.

    Have you served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam? Of course not - YOU didn't have to, because the "older generation" did that for you.

    I, too, used to be a part of the "younger generation," And I really didn't know a heck of a lot until I lived long enough to be part of the "older generation."

    And you know what? I wouldn't go back to be a part of the "younger" generation for all the tea in China. I absolutely love being "older," because now I have wisdom, which is knowledge perfected through experience.

    But remember, being a part of an "older" generation one day is also YOUR destiny, as sure as day follows night. So treat your elders honorably and with respect. Because remember: What goes around comes around!

    Finally, remember the biblical commandment: Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother. Know what? THESE are the "older" people.

    June 3, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. Sally, Minnesota

    The young people of this country, the post-baby boomers and younger, are tired of the direction has been headed in for quite some time. The past two two-term presidents have been baby boomers. We have experienced the most divisive time in modern history.
    We are the generations that are going to have to deal with all the messes created by our elders: wars, economy, environment, etc.
    I hope and pray we get together and take the reins from the greedy, selfish CEO types that have gotten us to this inglorius point.
    The Democratic party has a chance, now, to show that we are progressive and to move past this generational stranglehold on our democracy.

    June 3, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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