Blaming Trump’s Win on the Age Group Least Responsible for It

December 7 | Posted by Rich Culbertson | Media Feeds

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WaPo: Yes, you can blame millennials for Hillary Clinton’s loss

Yes, you can—in the same sense that you can blame bad luck on black cats.

Before the election, corporate media nonsensically tried to blame the rise of Donald Trump on Millennials (FAIR.org, 10/10/16)—and now, after the election, the Washington Post is still at it.

“Yes, You Can Blame Millennials for Hillary Clinton’s Loss” was the headline over a piece by the Post‘s Aaron Blake (12/2/16). “Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said Thursday that one particular group is especially to blame: Millennials.” Blake quoted another Post story citing Mook’s claim that “younger voters, perhaps assuming that Clinton was going to win, migrated to third-party candidates in the final days of the race.” “That’s why we lost,” Mook said.

While “skeptical” at first, Blake said he found that “digging into the numbers, however, Mook has a point”:

The national exit poll shows Clinton underperformed Barack Obama’s 2012 share of the vote by one point with those between the ages of 30 and 44 and by three points with those ages 45 to 64. She actually overperformed him by one point with those over 65.

Among those between 18 and 29, though, she took five points less—55 percent versus Obama’s 60 percent.

What’s more, Blake wrote, “Clinton’s 55–36 margin among those ages 18 to 29 is also significantly worse than late polls suggested it would be.”

Whoa, wait—”Clinton’s 55–36 margin among those ages 18 to 29″? Yep, Clinton won among voters under 30—the Millennials, basically—by 19 percentage points. Blake doesn’t spell it out, but this is the age group that delivered by far the biggest margin for Clinton. The next-best cohort for Clinton was those aged 39–44, who picked her by a 10-point margin. This is in sharp contrast to the 45–64 and 65+ age groups, who voted for Trump by margins of 8 and 7 percentage points, respectively.

So who do we blame for Trump—the age group that voted for Clinton by the widest margin, or the ones that voted for Trump? If you’re the Washington Post, the biggest Clinton backers are responsible for Trump, naturally.

You can play the same statistical games with race, by the way. For example, exit polls suggest that Trump did only 1 percentage point better than Romney among white voters, who went for Trump 58–37 percent. Among African-Americans, he only got 8 percent, but his losing margin was “only” 80 percentage points, as opposed to 87 points for Romney; Trump “overperformed” with black voters by 7 points.

So who bears moral responsibility for Trump? To say that it’s African-Americans, not white Americans, would be absurd—not to mention racist. Yet that’s exactly the “logic” Blake applies to Millennials.

I have no idea how old Aaron Blake is. But he’s old enough to know better.

UPDATE: Clarified that Trump’s 7-point improvement with African-American voters was in his losing margin, not in the percentage of the vote he got.


Jim Naureckas is the editor of FAIR.org. You can follow him on Twitter: @JNaureckas.

Messages can be sent to the Washington Post at [email protected], or via Twitter @washingtonpost. Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

 

 

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