Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Young Libertarians Voted For Obama

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It should surprise few that most young Americans are either socially liberal or fiscally liberal. Yet it is not clear that a majority is both socially and fiscally liberal. Nevertheless, even fiscally conservative millennials voted Democratic in 2012. 

According to a September 2012 poll, 59 percent of young Americans favored legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, compared to 45 percent among Americans over 30. A similar percentage of millennials thought "we need a strong government to handle today's complex economic problems" while 41 percent believe "people would be better able to handle today's problems within a free market with less government involvement." One might quickly conclude that nearly two-thirds of the millennial generation are liberal Democrats, at least on these issues.  However, the data reveals a more nuanced story.

Instead, only 28 percent of millennials want to both legalize pot and strengthen government. Instead, 30 percent want to legalize pot and prefer free markets to a strong central government. Another 29 percent of young Americans want a strong central government but don't want to legalize marijuana. Another way to think of this is that 50 percent of young Americans desiring drug reform also prefer free markets, and half of millennials who prefer strong government also oppose marijuana legalization. Only nine percent preferred free markets and wanted to ban drugs, a sample size too small to deeply evaluate.

These millennial groups vary demographically. Those who gave a fiscally conservative and socially liberal response to the aforementioned questions are slightly above average income for their age cohort and have significantly higher expectations of upward income mobility than their peers. They are also far more likely to not identify with a religion and never attend church, and are the least likely to say they planned to "definitely vote" in the 2012 presidential election.

Most strikingly, a plurality (48 percent) of these fiscally conservative socially liberal millennials planned to vote for Obama, compared to 38 percent who planned to vote for Romney. However, including Gary Johnson as a potential third party candidate left Obama's numbers fairly unchanged, but brought Romney's numbers to 29% of these young libertarians as 17 percent said they'd vote for Gary Johnson.

Not surprisingly, 73 percent of liberal millennials said they planned to vote for Obama, as did 58 percent of millennials who prefer a strong government but want to keep pot banned. Thus, young libertarians were less likely to vote for Obama than their peers, but still a clear plurality intended to do so.

Liberal millennials differed from their peers in that they are significantly less likely to expect income mobility for themselves, but had about average income compared to other millennials. In fact, even though communitarian-leaning millennials had significantly lower income they had higher income mobility prospects than liberal millennials.

Obama's capturing of young fiscal conservatives explains in part how Obama obtained 60 percent of the millennial vote on Election Day. Young Americans opted for Obama over Romney by 23 points. Obama's success among America's millennial generation is not entirely due to its liberal constituency, but also its growing libertarian counterpart.

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  1. This makes sense. If you are going to vote for a tax and spend fan of activist big government, yo might as well vote for the one with a “D” after his name: the brand has more cachet.

    I would be interested in seeing the numbers for people who intended not to show up at the polls at all, for they are our hope and salvation.

    1. It just shows that they are stupid and shallow and voted for stupid reasons. If you really believe Romney and Obama were the same, why not vote Johnson?

      1. Branding! Most people put more care into choosing a pair of gloves to buy at the store than they do to deciding who to vote for.

      2. It just shows that they are stupid and shallow and voted for stupid reasons.

        Well, to be fair, most young people (20s?) have just completed or are still in multi decade long socialist propaganda and operant conditioning camps.

        It takes a while for the brainwashing to wear off.

    2. Yep. If the only choice is between a real Democrat and a fake Democrat, most people will go for the genuine article even if it costs a little more.

      1. “THERE WAS NO ONE VOTE FOR!”

        Or so I’m told.

        1. God damnit. Throw an ‘else’ there, while you’re at it.

          1. And maybe a “to”, unless you were going for that STEVE SMITH DROP PREPOSITION! thing.

            1. STEVE SMITH RAPE PREPOSITION FIRST THEN DROP.

              1. PARTS OF SPEECH LIKE STEVE SMITH’S LAUNDROMAT, DROP LOAD ANYTIME

            2. Ahhh, fuck it. I quit.

      2. So by that logic a real Nazi or Satanist could win of they only had the good fortune of running against a fake one of their own

        It is not real versus fake. It is that most people do t pay a lot of attention and think Both of them were reasonable centrists.

        1. How many people voted not for Obama, but against the uptight white guy?

          When so many voters vote against someone rather than for someone, even a commie community organizer with no job experience can be elected to the office of president.

          1. A lot. And that is why Romney was totally stupid not to run a negative campaign. He should have destroyed Obama with negative ads.

            1. Romney was such a horrible candidate and ran such an idiotic campaign that I’m starting to think that the whole thing was a con job.

              1. 2008 was a con-job. 2012 was just Romney playing the stock role of goody two-shoes Mormon instead being more like Porter Rockwell.

            2. No, he should have run ads about his policies. I heard no specifics other than promises.

              Obama, on the other hand, promised more milk from the cash cow’s udder at the expense of those “rich” people.

              1. What’s the point of an R running policy ads? All it does it allow the media to focus on the potentially unpopular parts in isolation.

            3. Deafen them with dog whistles.

          2. How many people voted not for Obama, but against the uptight white guy?

            Almost all.

        2. “So by that logic a real Nazi or Satanist could win of they only had the good fortune of running against a fake one of their own”

          Sure. The genuine article would attract his zealots and partisans, and the fake would alienate the rest – which may have been what happened in the end despite the anybody but Obama cries from the right.

    3. My friend voted for the first time this election. Despite agreeing with me on most major issues; drug legalization, less spending, ect, he voted happily for Obama. I can only assume because the Democratic party brand is considered cool and hip, well the Republican brand is considered old and boring. He had never heard of Gary Johnson. But when I told him I was vacillating between Johnson and Romney(I ended up voting for Johnson), he was incredulous anyone could vote for Romney.

      The Republican party has massive branding problem when it comes to younger people.

      1. It is amazing how conformist the young are. All of their teachers and adults in their lives are lefties. You would think they would rebel and at least be libertarian. Instead they fall in line mindlessly.

        1. His parents are rock solid conservative actually, so maybe that is the rebelling aspect. The bigger problem I think is he gets a lot of “news” from comedic sources(Daily Show) and from word of mouth from lefty friends.

          Obviously now all younger voters are conformist, otherwise I wouldn’t visit Reason.

          1. Yes they are. For every one of us, there’s 15 or 20 of them. So its far to say that nearly all of 17-29 year olds are conformists. And its going to get a lot worst. I’m on the lower end of that age range, and its pretty easy to observe that my peers are much dumber and indoctrinated to believe anything the leftists tell them. For example, A belief in communism, they have been taught, is “natural” to want and fight for. USSR? Cuba? They aren’t communist enough.

            1. A belief in communism, they have been taught, is “natural” to want and fight for. USSR? Cuba? They aren’t communist enough.

              I went through that stage when I was 14-15, my parents said it was just me trying to piss them off, which I realized by 16 was true. I guess some people never grow out of it.

            2. My generation has vulgarized and bastardized individualism in a way that would make Ayn Rand want to go suicide bomber. All that stuff about how Facebook and the Internets were making us more individualist? No it just makes it easier to show off our individual conformity.

            3. Peers? PEERS?! How dare you! That repulsive display of humanity out there? NO WAY!

        2. It’s us vs them, with us being the working class, the government, and the Democrats, while them is the rich, the corporations, and the Republicans.

          The only reason anyone would vote for a Republican is that they are rich, or they think that they will be rich someday, because the mission of the Republicans is to protect the rich.

          So you must vote for the Democrat, or else you’re just a shill for the rich.

          1. yeah, what’s the matter with Kansas?

        3. “Instead they fall in line mindlessly.”

          Only safe forms of rebellion are socially acceptable.

        4. I don’t know if it was at all accurate, but I watched the 21 Jump Street movie last night and was appalled by the conformity of the young.

          I graduated High School in 83. We were rebellious and didn’t believe a word we were told. These kids seem to be completely unquestioning.

          I fear the future.

          1. And you are basing this on a really bad movie? I fear the past.

            1. Re-read my first 9 words Brandon.

              1. But you still based a conclusion on it. And showed terrible judgement in watching 21 Jump Street.

        5. They have the illusion of being non-conformist, and that’s good enough for them.

        6. The current crop of young people thrive on constant praise. They’ve never known anything else. They don’t get praised by their lefty teachers by rebelling.

      2. “he was incredulous anyone could vote for Romney”

        Dude, he’s got all the money from outsourcing jobs to China and buying companies to lay people off!

        1. I could understand if he didn’t vote for Romney because of attack ads like that. The best reason he gave for disliking him was “he’s a Mormon, do you know the crazy shit they believe? they think they get deified when they die!”. I thought this was kind of funny coming from someone raised Catholic.

          1. “I thought this was kind of funny coming from someone raised Catholic.”

            Sort of like a Trekkie protesting at a Star Wars convention

            1. “He said Star Wars! Lot of good an expert in dilithium crystals is gonna be in a universe of space ships powered by hyperdrives!”

      3. I had an interesting argument with my father over Thanksgiving.

        He’s toed the Repub. party lion for decades and has trouble thinking independently. He pays lip service to libertarian ideas – with the exception of non-interventionist foreign policy. He understands the issue with the government buying votes through welfare – and that it really becomes a problem with 51% of the people are getting checks from the government.

        He asked me how to fix it. I told him that you have to talk to people as individuals and get them to buy into the idea that good politics is bad economics, that the current two party system is a sham and we need at least one other voice to be heard on a national stage, and instant gratification should not be preferable over long term stability.

        He didn’t think you could convince people of any of that. My response was “Well, better start shooting.”

        It’s just odd that he believes the country is further down the shit hole than I do, but he he’s unwilling to do anything about it. He doesn’t believe the problems can be fixed or reversed, but he keeps on doing the same things – voting Republican, buying into militaristic rhetoric, etc – that got the country here to begin with.

        So, when you’re criticizing my generation(some of it very valid criticism), keep in mind that the stubborn, older people who see many of the same problems as I do refuse to do anything about it.

      4. “The Republican party has massive branding problem when it comes to younger people.”

        I feel like you could expand this to a lot of other demographics as well. I feel like most people these days vote based on little more than cultural branding of the two parties, and not on anything substantive

  2. WHY DO YOU THINK THEY CALL IT DOPE?

    1. Because it’s a better name than crack? And what’s the drug connection with plumber’s dope and plumber’s crack?

  3. Let’s be perfectly clear. If you voted for Obama…you are NOT a libertarian.

    1. The future does not belong to “libertarians” who voted for Obama.

    2. Being Libertarian != being intelligent anymore than being conservative or liberal does.

      1. I’d love to see a study comparing IQ to political affiliation, because I certainly have a hypothesis.

        Of course, it would be politically incorrect to suggest one group of people more intelligent than another.

        1. It is just a different kind of intelligence, or something. Those liberals are really good at feeling feelings, probably. And whatever it is that it takes to gin up Capital-C-Concern, well, we could just redefine intelligence to mean that too.

          1. I think a lot of the “profiling” being done in the media (disguised as academic research) paint libertarians as cold, logical thinkers, immune to emotional arguments and kneejerk reactions. I believe that generalization (albeit simple) illustrates how intelligent libertarians appear to others.

        2. Didn’t Ron Baily post an article last week about a research paper that purported to show that higher intelligence correlates to more insular political views via confirmation bias. I believe it boiled down to “I believe X, and I am intelligent, therefore X must be true.”.

          1. “I believe X, and I am intelligent, therefore X must be true.”.

            A lot of HuffPo commenters actually have this as their little slogan thingies.

        3. One thing for sure is that there tends to be an inverse relationship between understanding of economics and the likelihood of being a liberal/progressive.

          1. Not so sure about that, look at all the economists that supported Obama’s stimulus.

            1. Keynesian economics is simply intellectual cover for big government. It has nothing to do with understanding the economy.

              1. Calling it intellectual is a stretch.

                1. It’s intellectual because it comes from professors!

                  When you’re a liberal you judge the source, not the idea itself!

                  They’re professors which means they’re really smart, so it must be true!

        4. Eh, I think there are smart people and dumb ones on all sides, though it might be true that people who are attracted to certain unpopular political niches like libertarianism are a bit smarter than average. ^_^

          1. That could well be true, even for libertarianism’s opposites. Niches take more effort to explore, and you can’t choose a niche without exploring it. Effort implies interest, and interest implies intellect.

            1. Exactly. Someone a bit dim is just going to choose between Team Red and Team Blue.

        5. I very much doubt that intelligence and political views correlate very much (except for libertarians who are all brilliant, of course). There are plenty of smart people who believe ridiculous things. And I think that most truly stupid people don’t think much about politics and either don’t care or just support one team out of habit or for free phones or because Obama is a secret Muslim or something.
          It takes an intelligent and clever person to put together a convincing argument in favor of something as awful and flawed as communism, for example.
          It’s not stupidity that makes people believe silly things. It is something else.

          1. Emotional people believe illogical things.

            Libertarians tend to be more stoic than their liberal/conservative counterparts.

            1. And even very logical people probably are far less consistent than they like to think they are. The human mind is good at justifying things and finding patterns where they don’t exist.

            2. I put it to you that libertarians put a higher premium on being factual than caring whether their point is proven correct.

              I would certainly prefer to be proven wrong and be able to modify my behavior/philosophy to reflect reality than to support a belief rooted in fantasy.

              1. I put it to you that libertarians put a higher premium on being factual than caring whether their point is proven correct.

                Libertarians value being correct, which is why we always lose to opponents who don’t care if they’re wrong as long as they win.

    3. I’ve run across a number of 20 somethings who refer to themselves as libertarians that believe in personal liberty combined with a leftist belief in government and collectivist economics.

      Hopefully, as they mature they’ll drop they’ll drop the the latter two instead of the former.

      1. I’ve run across a number of 20 somethings who refer to themselves as libertarians that believe in personal liberty combined with a leftist belief in government and collectivist economics.

        You can’t believe in personal liberty and collectivist economics. They are complete opposites.

        There’s more to personal liberty than smoking dope and marrying the same sex.

        1. You can’t believe in personal liberty and collectivist economics. They are complete opposites.

          Of course people “can” do it. I know many non-conformist artist types who can’t wait to see the federal government control all of healthcare. The fact that libertarians and Republicans can’t convince people of the contradiction is a huge communications failure.

          1. One must go through a lot of unlearning to understand the concept of liberty.

            When it’s pounded into your head from a young age that freedom means forcing people to do things and that government is the source of all freedom, the concept of negative liberty is difficult (or in the case of Tony, impossible) to grasp.

          2. Oh, you “can” have it. You just can’t claim to live according to a set of consistent principles, if your position is such.

          3. Yeah, a lot of people actually do believe that freedom means the freedom to be a poor artist and not have to worry about medical bills. They really do. So if that is your definition, then there is no conflict (well, not until the government can’t pay anymore).

          4. How exactly are Republicans supposed to communicate that when they don’t believe in personal liberty (or economic liberty either, really, but they’re not as open about that)?

            1. They believe in somewhat more economic liberty than Democrats.

        2. There’s more to personal liberty than smoking dope and marrying the same sex.

          Don’t forget FDA-approved abortion procedures.

    4. Well, there are people who voted for Obama working for and prominently featured right here at Reason. What are we supposed to make of that?

      1. You can make a hat, a brooch or a Pterodactyl…

        Sorry, always wanted to use that line.

        Quite simple. They are NOT libertarians. You cannot call yourself a libertarian and vote for the most statist piece of shit to ever hold the office.

        1. Quite simple. They are NOT libertarians.

          Oh, I know that. My real question is: why do they continue to be featured here when it’s obvious that they’re Obama shills?

          1. I don’t really have a problem with it. It gives us something to argue about. I don’t mind John/Tulpa and to a lesser (less intelligent) degree t o n y/Shreek. They give us practice, for lack of a better word, in formulating logical arguments against their bullshit.

            1. Tony is a classic troll, he just posts to piss people off. He rarely gives arguments to back up his rants. Just ignore him.

        2. “You cannot call yourself a libertarian and vote for the most statist piece of shit to ever hold the office.”

          Uh, yes you can. One vote does not forever define you. Did any of them vote for him a second time?

      2. Well, first of all you left out the part where you should mention that the people you are talking about voted for Obama in the 2008 election, not 2012. And you could mention that most of those people stated that they were doing it because they were voting against Bush, not because they favored Obama.

        1. Yeah, it was 2008 when some Reason staff voted for Obama. I thought it was zero this year.

    5. Indeed, the fact that all four categories had an Obama edge shows how retarded the young people are. (Is 30 too soon for being a grumpy old man?)

  4. A similar percentage of millennials thought “we need a strong government to handle today’s complex economic problems”

    Free Shit? trumps all.

    1. Come on! Can’t allow unfettered casino capitalism!
      Fat cats with their golden parachutes stealing from the middle class!
      They’re getting rich at the expense of everyone else!
      We need economic justice!

      /derp

  5. First off, Young Libertarians Vote for Alt-Text.

    Second, I proudly did not vote for Obama.

  6. Is it just me, or is this entire post gibberish?

    1. Summarizing poll results about beliefs often results in what seems like gibberish, not because of the writing, but because many people’s beliefs are gibberish.

  7. Young people are usually extraordinarily stupid and/or ill-informed. They also too easily succumb to cult of personality.

    1. And to feelings, and to things that sound like good ideas to the inexperienced (e.g. socialism).

      1. My generation has been told to value feelings and above all else compassion. The public school system is run by Ellsworth Toohey.

        1. I have the very strong feeling that I want my fellow citizens to keep their fucking noses out of my fucking business, and vice versa.

          1. “I have the very strong feeling that I want my fellow citizens to keep their fucking noses out of my fucking business, and vice versa.”

            Your perversion will be corrected.

            1. Isn’t it amazing that the desire to live a peaceful, productive life, unmolested by the good intentions of your neighbors is seen as dangerous extremism?

              I’m a regular rock throwing maniac, fuckers.

              1. As someone around here said (John?): You have to watch out for libertarians. They might take over and leave everybody alone.

  8. Most people put more care into choosing a pair of gloves to buy at the store than they do to deciding who to vote for.

    This calls to mind Doctor Parkinson’s tale of the Bicycle Shed.

    1. Nice link. The best overall summation of all those “laws” is Systemantics. Every libertarian should read the book, because many of the ways that government can go wrong are there, in humorous form.

      1. If you can find the actual book of essays entitled Parkinson’s Law I recommend it as well.

    2. I don’t know, seems kinda shaky to me.

    3. Well, the choice of gloves will probably have a much larger impact on your life, seeing how the election outcome will be the same no matter who you vote for.

  9. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Democracy simply doesn’t work.

    1. As Churchill said, it’s worst form of government, except for all the others.

  10. Sorry but you’re not a libertarian if you voted for Obama. That’s not “no true Scottsman” territory — Obama runs proudly and strongly counter to everything libertarians believe in. I can think of literally no issue of any significance – economics, civil liberties, foreign policy, the role of government – where Obama is not an enemy of freedom.

    1. Ditto for Republicans.

      Unless you take running their mouths as the same as policy goals.

      1. ALL HAIL KING OF THE DERPS!

        HIP HIP HAZZAH!

      2. And here I thought it was the Democratic fascists who pushed through the individual mandate, the biggest blow to liberty in decades if not ever. Come on Tony, we’re not as stupid as your friends over at the dailykos.

      3. Republicans Bad.

        Democrats Good.

        Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    2. Depends on how you define freedom.

      If by freedom you mean being free from responsibility, then Obama does indeed support freedom.
      Freedom means never having to worry about anything. Freedom means free food, free housing, and free medical. Kinda like prison.

      Yep. Freedom is slavery, and Obama loves freedom.

    3. Kind of makes you wonder why Reason would employ and prominently feature writers who voted for him, and in some cases are unabashed shills for the guy.

    4. No true Scotsman would put two Ts in the name of his country. (Sorry)

    5. I suppose there were people who voted for Obama based on the “lesser of evils” rationale. Not saying I think he was the “lesser of evils” just that there were people who did

  11. Should I be giving Reason money because of this?

  12. Honestly, bringing the voting age down to 18 was a mistake, we should have just gotten rid of conscription instead.

    Memo to the superpowers of the future: When the choice is between getting rid of conscription or lowering the voting age, pick getting rid of conscription.

    P.S. Don’t trust anyone under 30.

    1. Wasn’t Argentina thinking about lowering the voting age to 16 so the socialists could stay in power a little bit longer?

      1. That’s the way it works.

        There were good reasons to have the voting age at 18, when they were conscripting kids right out of high school if they didn’t go to college. If you’re old enough to be conscripted into a war, you should be old enough to vote against the politicians who sent you there.

        But that’s the way it works with authority, too. When authority has to choose between letting kids vote or giving up the authority to conscript them, it always chooses to preserve its own authority.

        If it ever “chooses” to limit its own authority, it’s only because it has no other choice.

      2. They did that.

    2. It’s difficult to find the exact stats but my guess is the percentage of 18-20 year olds that actually voted make up a negligible part of the electorate.

      The naive 20-somethings is a different story.

      1. You’re probably right.

        We should raise the voting age up to 25.

        1. I think the hobbits had it right. One must go through their irresponsible tweens (twenties) before coming of age at 33.

          1. Ya Hobbits frequently made it past 100 years old though.

            1. What does that have to do with giving irresponsible twenty-somethings the power to choose our rulers?

              1. A hobbit’s 33 is probably pretty similar to a human’s 18.

                1. I’m starting to think you have not read the books and you’re younger than 33.

                  1. You wound me! I have read the books, and I’m younger than 33.

                    1. I’m younger than 33.

                      Get back to me when you’ve come of age.

                      😉

                2. They go through the same amount of time.

                  Dogs aren’t seven years smarter at the age of one than human baby is at the age of one.

                  They have the same amount of experience.

                  The Hobbits were right.

                  1. Hobbits are not dogs. They lead very different lives than humans and really like repeated numbered ages(33, 55, 111). I’m all for restricting the right to vote based on certain criteria, just not those ones.

        2. Obamacare says that you’re an “adult child” up to age 27 I think, right? 27 it is then!

          1. Excellent point.

          2. Excellent observation.

        3. Raise the voting age to 25, and make it so no one under 25 pays taxes. I think it’s a net winner.

          1. Why not just straight up trade a vote for taxes? That way the wonks can play their games with their own money.

            1. Or combine voting and taxes. Everything you vote for, you pay taxes for.

    3. Hold up a minute. Yes, a solid majority of young people voted for Obama and young people do tend to be more liberal than the average person. At the same time, they are also more libertarian than the general population. Johnson got the highest share of the vote from young voters. Ron Paul either won, or came close to winning, the young vote in most states, and (virtually?) always did better among young voters than the general population. It is possible for a demographic to both more liberal and more libertarian than the general population

      1. And what good was this?

        1. In terms of actual results right now, none. My point was that it’s difficult to blame those damn kids as the problem when they’re supporting libertarian candidates at much higher rates than old people and the middle aged

          1. It doesn’t matter if the youth, as percentage of their population, tends to support libertarians more than older folks. The dems will definitely win the overall vote when it counts. If you had as many 20% of the youth consistently vote LP, you’ll actually end up helping out one of the two parties.

            Johnson and RP have a small but fervent base that happens to be growing younger. But they can’t beat their own age group, and they won’t be able to do anything about the Latinos.

            It’s perfectly safe to blame 70% of millenials for many things. As others observed here, they’ll believe corporations don’t deserve free speech, that healthcare is a right, and living wages will help people, and readily reject probably the bulk of the libertarian ideology.

  13. Youth is wasted on the young, especially when the young have spent their formative years learning that government is the earthly analogue to God and that all of the bad things done by government were just because the right people weren’t charge.

    Now get off my lawn.

    1. “Youth is wasted on the young”

      And prescription strength medication is wasted on the elderly.

  14. What a waste. Too many libertarians were more mad at Romney for not being Ron Paul than they were mad at Obama for not being fit to be president.

    1. Hey, Obama made a good case about how much better he would be than that jackass incumbent. That guy fucked everything up.

  15. “Young Libertarians Voted For Obama”
    Self-identified as libertarians?
    In that case, claimed vs revealed preference

  16. Young Libertarians Voted For Obama aren’t actually libertarians but really just pro-pot liberals

    FIFY. Seriously, anybody who believes this generation is a ‘libertarian moment’ in the waiting is off their gourd. We had/have the Libertarian Moment and it’s the Tea Party.

    1. “We had/have the Libertarian Moment and it’s the Tea Party.”

      Wrong aesthetic.

    2. “Get your government hands off my Medicare!”

      That TEA Party?

      1. 1 person = whole movement. But don’t let that stop your oddly credulous cynicism.

        1. I don’t think that person is totally unrepresentative. Polling I’ve seen indicates that a solid majority of self-identified Tea Party supporters oppose cuts to Medicare and SS. And then of course there’s the fact that Tea Partiers were less likely than the general primary electorate to vote for Ron Paul, and instead cast their votes for Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney.

        2. I sadly suspect that the TEA Party will follow the model of the war protesters.

          Bush gone = no more war protesters.

          Obama gone = no more TEA Party.

          I hope I’m wrong.

          1. to be fair to them, the tea party got going during the Bush administration. We’ll see.

            It’s too bad that many of their most strident voices are rabidly anti-immigration and anti-welfare which doesn’t help their PR.

            1. Isn’t Reason stridently anti-welfare?

  17. Unless you are playing a “the worse the better” line and hoping to speed the collapse of the current system, I really don’t see any way that someone who voted for Obama can call themselves a libertarian.

    I know, no true Scotsmen and all that, but seriously, Obama was the most anti-libertarian candidate in the race, edging out Romney by a nose (IMO). If you can’t be bothered to learn that there is an actual Libertarian candidate on the ballot that you can vote for if you really want smaller government, or even just sit it out, but to go out and vote for the least libertarian candidate? No.

    1. I can think of a few reasons that aren’t completely stupid. If you thought that the Republicans would take the senate, I could see preferring Obama as president with a R congress over Romney with an R congress. But there is really no excuse for actually supporting him.

    2. Single issue voters vote on single issues. If your single issue is wanting homos to get marriage licenses, you’re going to vote against the Mormon.

  18. Either they’re retarded, or your analysis is.

  19. The real elephant in the room is the phrase “fiscally conservative”.

    When someone says they are “socially liberal”, we can surmise that they reject the socially conservative religious right. They are not likely to be fans of Pat Robertson. They are probably in favor of legal abortion, and think gay marriage should be legal. Possibly they favor legalization of some drugs.

    “Fiscally conservative” on the other hand, is a much more nebulous descriptor. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, claims to be a fiscal conservative. Socialist bastards who never saw a government program they didn’t like claim to be fiscal conservatives because they want massive tax hikes to pay for it.

    Oh, and I’m 23. People my age are almost literally retarded. It isn’t really their fault, what with public schools and the university system being designed to make goose stepping leftists. Still, it’s always a treat explaining the concept of inflation to someone in grad school. You’ve been in school for nearly 20 years, and no one ever told you that printing money to pay your debts doesn’t work?

    1. It seems they used the term “support free markets” or “strong central government” in the survey rather than whether the person thought of themselves as fiscally conservative or not

      1. It seems they used the term “support free markets” or “strong central government” in the survey rather than whether the person thought of themselves as fiscally conservative or not

        “Obviously I support free markets. We just need to regulate them to make everything fair. We especially need to make sure that there aren’t outrageous profits. Oh, and environmental protection. And unions must be forced on those evil corporations. And….”-Every fucking leftist ever

        The real issue, not to get all Randian, is that the language we use to communicate has been chained in the basement and raped for about a century now. We all know how the word liberal came to mean the opposite of what it used to mean, but that was just the beginning. There are people who honestly believe that the financial markets are unregulated, that we live in a country of laissez-faire capitalism. They honestly believe this. It’s way past dishonesty and into delusion, IMO.

        How do you talk to people about things when the words they use to describe things mean the opposite of what they are in reality?

        When we trade in the market of ideas, we use words as currency. Well, all the words are debased, or counterfeit. There can be no honest trade if all the money is worthless.

        1. It’s certainly possible that a number of those people are dishonest leftists. However, they did have the option of choosing “need a stronger central government” and most leftists I know (and I’m in college btw) would say that rather than support free markets. I think the explanation for why such a high number of people who identified that way voted for Obama is two-fold: 1) As someone mentioned above, cultural branding. The Dems have the cool and hip image, and the Republicans don’t, and for people who aren’t all that knowledgeable or philosophical about politics may prefer the former to the latter just based on that. And 2) The “lesser of evils” fallacy. I think a large number of people in this group might not like Obama, but they thought he was better than Romney, even if just for the shallow reasons listed in number 1, and pulled the lever for him. There were a lot of people on here that voted for Romney based on this reasoning, and among the younger generation, I’m not sure why it would be that surprising that many would instead find Obama to be the lesser of evils, and thus vote for him.

          Also, I’d like to see the identification demographics of young people who didn’t vote, given that they’re over 40% of the population

        2. There are people who honestly believe that the financial markets are unregulated, that we live in a country of laissez-faire capitalism.

          My brother recently said something to that effect to me, and he used to call himself a libertarian before the labor union he works for started brainwashing him.

    2. God, it is scary how many women around my age (24) I have met that buy into the Sandra Fluke shit.

      Seriously, so many young people I know essentially vote on gay marriage/abortion, without regard to how the candidates that favor those things often will happily rape the economy.

      1. Well to be fair, i woudl probably vote that same with with drug war as the issue, if i could find a single fucking candidate who openly stated they want to abolish the war on the drugs.

  20. I will say this as a young person: Having done some political volunteering in my time, old people (ie seniors) are insanely entitled. I have had people come up to me, shaking their fingers, going on about how DARE politiicians call them “entitlements” because they paid into them, damnit, and they deserve monthly checks and free healthcare!

    Also once talked to a lady who was going to vote for Romney until he said he would cut PBS, because a lot of seniors can’t afford cable and they love PBS and the ballet on it!

    So, as much shit as young people get, and my generation does richly deserve it, at least its based more on being naive that being fucking greedy entitled twats like most of the over 65s I’ve talked to.

  21. I didn’t vote for anyone, because I was on vacation outside my voting district. I was in New Orleans, boosting the economy of a great, but still struggling city. We hadn’t planed on being, but Sandy delayed my sisters arrival by one week, so we extended our vacation a few days. I would have voted for Gary Johnson if I could’ve.

  22. Young Libertarians Voted For Obama

    First off, calling people libertarians who don’t self-identify as libertarians is mislabeling. Centrists aren’t libertarians.

    Second, looking at polls that EXCLUDE THE LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE and then deducing that, based on the people who responded to that rigged and biased poll, that people who self-identify as libertarian and who likely bailed out of answering that question somehow didn’t support the libertarian candidate, is mildly retarded.

  23. 20 somethings are sheeple, and get their news from Jon Stewart. they aren’t libertarians

  24. I have a hard time accepting that fiscally conservative millennials voted for the president. Did they really expect Mr. Romney would be as profligate as president Obama? How is that even possible? A president who has increased government spending as a percentage of GDP from 20 to 25%, has imposed Obamacare on the nation? How do they even consider themselves libertarian? Or conservative?

  25. I’m not a millennial, but I’m close enough to them. The ones I know, including those who want less government, believed that Romney wanted to ban contraceptives, put gays in prison, repeal the Civil Rights Act, and destroy the Internet. They believe that Obama is pro-drug legalization, that net neutrality isn’t a huge power grab, and that he isn’t in the pocket of any huge corporations.

    In politics, perception is everything.

  26. These are supposed to be young libertarians. Obama is not for legalizing pot. He didn’t support gay marriage until May of this year. His Justice Department shut down medical marijuana clinics. He supports restrictions on the right to bear arms. There is a video maker in jail over Benghazi. I could go on. This analysis breaks the vote down by who supports and opposes legal pot and a stronger government. There has to be more to why they voted for Obama than legal pot.

  27. Just another painful reminder that young libertarians have all of the intellectual consistency of … liberals. You are all sad, strange little people.

  28. I feel obliged to apologize for my generation. I’m a current college student, and the bulk of my peers are sheeple. A couple months ago, I had this guy arguing that Obama was good- not just the lesser of two evils, but straight up good- even after I mentioned the drone wars and the NDAA. Recently, I heard him lambasting civil liberties violations, except here it was in the context of one of their special protected groups (Muslims and the NYPD). If I weren’t busy vomiting, I would have punched him. Of course, he’s taking labor studies, so I guess the behavior fits. 2+2= whatever the hell Obama says it does.

    This is the type of “discussion” my generation engages in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTCRwi71_ns
    Yes, it is funny. Yes, it is dumb.

  29. Idiots. Obama couldn’t be farther from Libertarianism if he tried. ‘Twas my first election this year. I voted Johnson.

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