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Millionaire Mark Penn Misunderstands the Youth on Trade

That Mark Penn is at it again. After trying to revise the past on trade a few weeks ago, he is now trying to revise the present. From his Politico column:

While Bush got 45 percent of young voters in 2004, Obama is likely to open up a 20-point gap with this bloc; they grew up knowing only Bill Clinton or George W. Bush as president.

In the latest Zogby poll, Obama won the crucial moderate vote by 2-to-1, 60 percent to 30 percent. Obama wins nearly nine in 10 liberals as well, putting together a strong center-left coalition and leaving John McCain with a big margin only in the sizable conservative bloc.

In contrast, this election is scrambling the votes of  working-class and wealthier voters...

These new moderate voters are better-educated, more in tune with the information age and far removed from the traditional labor base of the Democratic Party. They are more open to trade and sensitive to tax increases. They also oppose the Iraq war, but they want to see strength in national security. They overwhelmingly will favor new energy policies for ethanol and other biofuels, solar power and wind power.

Penn makes some questionable leaps from some questionable sources. Zogby has come under fire for its poll methodology, which is not fully randomized. But, whatev. If we're citing them, it would be important to note that Zogby polls find that these so-called moderates and young voters are overwhelmingly anti-NAFTA.

Moving beyond Zogby to the more reputable Democrarcy Corps Greenberg poll,  Battleground voters of all ages are overhwhelmingly against NAFTA, with Generation Y even more so than Generation X.

There is an important generational “hump” in feelings about NAFTA in battleground states, with Gen X’ers feeling warmer than both Gen Y and Baby Boomers. All generational cohorts are nevertheless cool to NAFTA.

The hump effect disappears nationally, but all age cohorts are still overwhelmingly anti-NAFTA. By the way, the battleground states in the survey are not just Rust Belt states, but also southwest and Rocky Mountain west.

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