Darcy Burner won the sole endorsement of the Pierce County Young Democrats this week in her primary race against Rodney Tom for the Democratic nomination in WA’s 8th Congressional District.
“Darcy [Burner] is the right candidate for the 8th District,” said Sam Ross, PCYD Chair. “She’s right on the constitution, she’s right on healthcare, she’s right on the Iraq occupation, she’s a leader on technology and economic innovation. On all the issues that Young Democrats believe in, Darcy will stand with us always, and on all the issues that truly matter, Darcy will do what she knows to be right.”
This early endorsement in a high profile primary is important for a number of reasons. First, the Young Democrats have strong chapters at University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, and have promised aggressive recruitment, doorbelling and phonebanking drives at local colleges and universities. Second, it demonstrates the strong appeal Darcy has amongst one of the fast growing segments of the Democratic Party: younger voters.
In 2002 the electorate was equally divided between Democrats and Democratic-leaners (43%) and Republicans and Republican-leaners (43%). Today only 35% align themselves with Republicans, and 50% with Democrats. The Republicans are doing particularly badly among independents (the fastest-growing group in the electorate) and younger voters. The proportion of 18-25-year-olds who identify with the Republican Party has declined from 55% in 1991 to 35% in 2006, according to Pew. Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster, notes that the share of Republican voters aged 55 and over has increased from 28% in 1997 to 41% today, whereas the share aged 18-34 has fallen from 25% to 17%.
The Democratic Party is getting younger, which not only bodes well for the future, it bodes well for candidates like Burner who appeal to their values. It’s kinda cliche to say it, but our young people are our nation’s future… as are future leaders like Darcy Burner.