Facebook an also-ran among today's teens
Media sounds more like Democrats, vibes and the economy, the endless early part of the GOP primary, how young men are turning against feminism
No. 296 | December 15, 2023
📰 Media Habits
“YouTube continues to dominate. Roughly nine-in-ten teens say they use YouTube, making it the most widely used platform measured in our survey.
TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram remain popular among teens: Majorities of teens ages 13 to 17 say they use TikTok (63%), Snapchat (60%) and Instagram (59%). For older teens ages 15 to 17, these shares are about seven-in-ten.
Teens are less likely to be using Facebook and Twitter (recently renamed X) than they were a decade ago: Facebook once dominated the social media landscape among America’s youth, but the share of teens who use the site has dropped from 71% in 2014-2015 to 33% today. Twitter, which was renamed X in July 2023, has also seen its teen user base shrink during the past decade – albeit at a less steep decline than Facebook.”
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@MattGrossmann: Mainstream media language is sounding more like Democrats than Republicans over time, especially moving leftward on race, Trump, & national security (though moving right on immigration). Conservative media still stands out. (X)
Nate Cohn: Vibes, the Economy and the Election (The New York Times)
“A Federal Reserve announcement about the future of the funds rate is not the sort of news that would typically factor into analysis of public opinion and the economy. Usually, analysts look at numbers like gross domestic product and unemployment, not something as arcane as a federal funds rate.
But this isn’t a normal economy, and public opinion about the economy hasn’t been normal, either.
For two years, the public has said the economy is doing poorly, even though it appears healthy by many traditional measures. This has prompted a fierce debate over whether the public’s views are mostly driven by concrete economic factors like high prices or something noneconomic — like a bad “vibe” brought on by social media memes or Fox News.”
“Donald Trump leads in the average of the most recent polls by 2.2 points. Despite the talking up of a better series of polls for Biden, Trump is ahead by 4 points in the latest Wall Street Journal poll. Nikki Haley leads Biden in the same poll by 17 points.
The response from the Democratic smart set has been to engage in various forms of polling denialism. The recent polls are an example of Mad Poll Disease. Another theory is that respondents are engaged in “expressive responding,” a clever-sounding explanation for why poll results don’t actually mean what they say. Proponents of this theory argue that members of base Democratic groups are using the polls to vent their frustrations with Biden, but would never actually abandon him.”
Ruy Teixeira: The Democratic Coalition Is Falling Apart (The Liberal Patriot)
“Let’s face it: the Democratic coalition is in poor shape. It’s springing leaks everywhere—young voters, Hispanic voters, black voters, women voters, working-class voters, moderate and independent voters. Of course, some Democrats dismiss the accumulating evidence as irrelevant because it’s too early, too biased, or not consistent with recent positive election results. It reminds me of the widely shared meme of the anthropomorphic dog calmly sipping his coffee in a burning room saying: “This is fine.”
And for sure, it is early. But these are very disturbing data that indicate the scale of the Democrats’ challenge in 2024.”
Ruy Teixeira: Swing-State, Working-Class Blues (The Liberal Patriot)
“‘I’ve got those mean old swing-state, working-class blues!’ I wouldn’t exactly recommend this as the Democrats’ campaign theme song, but it would encapsulate a lot of what appears to be happening to them these days.
A run of national polls have had Biden losing to Trump but, even worse, so have a number of swing-state polls. The latest are of Michigan and Georgia by CNN. In the former, Biden is behind by 10 points; in the latter, he is trailing by 5 points. Peering into the crosstabs, it is clear that Biden’s woes in these states have a lot to do with declining support among working-class voters. Let’s review some of the relevant data, starting with Michigan.”
“The full 2024 Republican presidential primary schedule has finally come together, stretching from mid-January to early June. And at least in terms of calendar days, it looks like the early part of the race is going to be an unusual slog.
In 2020, Democrats took 27 days to complete the early part of their primary calendar. That period covered the disastrously messy Iowa caucuses and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders's wins in New Hampshire and Nevada, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden's victory in South Carolina that led many Democrats to consolidate behind him. Following that South Carolina win, Biden had an impressive Super Tuesday showing and went on to capture the Democratic nomination.
This time around, Republicans are going to take a much longer time to get through the early contests. Overall, 41 days will pass from Iowa's Jan. 15 caucuses to the completion of South Carolina's primary on Feb. 24 — the longest it's taken a party to go from Iowa to Nevada or South Carolina (whichever voted last) since Nevada became an early-voting state in 2008.”
“On a recent Sunday afternoon, 65-year-old Pennsylvania resident Bill Krenz received a phone call from an unknown number. ‘Hello, my name is Ashley, and I'm an artificial intelligence volunteer for Shamaine Daniels’ run for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 10th district, chatting to you on a recorded line,’ the robotic voice explained. It followed up by asking him questions about whether he was aware of Daniels’ congressional campaign and what socio-political issues are most important to him.
While he was expecting it as part of a test demo, Krenz said he typically doesn’t accept “blind calls” coming from numbers without a caller ID. ‘If I wasn't prepared for the phone call, I'm not sure I would have taken the call because it's such a new technology,’ he told Forbes. But after taking the call, which lasted two minutes, he found that the AI answered most questions accurately. ‘I was expecting maybe a goof, but there were no goofs,’ Krenz said.
The call was commissioned by Democratic candidate Shamaine Daniels, who announced her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives for 2024 and is up against six other democratic candidates and Republican incumbent Scott Perry. While Daniels is using standard campaign strategies like digital advertising, direct mail and door-to-door campaigning, she’s also tacking on a new one: conversational calls using AI. She thinks such outreach could help her convey essential campaign information and also hear from voters about the issues that are most important to them.”
Jeffrey Wice: Light at the end of the tunnel for New York’s redistricting (City and State New York)
“Following the state Court of Appeals’ decision to send congressional redistricting back to the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission and state Legislature, the chaotic and prolonged post-2020 line-drawing process may finally be coming to an end. However, there are still hurdles ahead, including more potential litigation.
On Tuesday, the state’s highest court reaffirmed the state Legislature’s authority to enact redistricting plans and acknowledged the limitations on courts drawing maps. The Independent Redistricting Commission now must submit a new congressional map by Feb. 28 so the state Legislature and governor can approve it for the 2024 through 2030 election cycles.
The map drawn by a court appointed special master in 2022 will soon be history (although it will remain in place for special congressional elections in 2024, including the race to replace George Santos in February). The Court of Appeals does not believe that courts should be in the map-drawing business, holding that court-drawn redistricting plans should be used ‘only to the extent it is required to remedy a violation of law.’”
📊 Public Opinion
Daniel Cox: Why Young Men Are Turning Against Feminism (American Storylines)
“In the run-up to the 2022 election, scattered reports of young people turning out to vote in large numbers showed up on social media. Viral videos showed long lines of college students waiting eagerly to vote early. But most of these videos showed lines of predominantly female college voters. Their male classmates were conspicuously absent.
The 2022 election saw the second-highest youth turnout in the past three decades, with abortion driving many young voters to the voting booth. But pre-election polls showed the issue was much more salient for young women than men. A survey we conducted leading up to the midterm election revealed that abortion was a critical priority for 61 percent of young women but only 32 percent of young men. These distinctive priorities raise two questions: what's driving the growing distance between young men and women, and what impact will this growing gap have on our politics?”
“With less than a month until the Iowa caucuses, former President Donald Trump has a wide lead for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. His supporters stand out for their desire for a presidential candidate who will push hard for policies that Republican voters want, even if it makes it much harder to get some things done.
Roughly six-in-ten Trump supporters (63%) say it is more important for a Republican nominee to focus on this if elected, while 36% say it’s more important for the party’s candidate to focus on finding common ground with Democrats.”
“There’s been a lot of talk recently in media and policy circles about the issue of “economic vibes” versus “economic reality” as expressed by government and private sector statistics. Or in plain language, “Why do so many Americans have negative views of the economy despite many positive overall economic indicators?”
Several recent analyses provide descriptive evidence that the U.S. is a real outlier in terms of public opinion corresponding to hard economic indicators.”
Katherine Schaeffer: Striking findings from 2023 (Pew Research Center)
“Pew Research Center has gathered data around some of this year’s defining news stories, from the rise of artificial intelligence to the debate over affirmative action in college admissions. Here’s a look back at 2023 through some of our most striking research findings.
These findings only scratch the surface of the Center’s research from this past year.”