Different Ages, Different Political Concerns
By Chris Mirarchi
Across the board, the variety of political opinion is truly being highlighted. This year, more than ever, the presidential election is very popular, and not just among the older generation. The younger generation, those aged 18-25, is putting their two cents in as well -- 59.9% of this group is registered voters.
When it comes to party voting affiliation, two big differences are age and income. It’s more likely for someone with a lesser income to vote Democrat. According to a 2006 poll, 67% people making less than $15,000 a year voted for Democrats, while 53% of people making more than $200,000 a year voted for Republicans, according to CNN.com.
Frank Lombardi, a 22 year-old Communication Arts major at Marymount Manhattan College has a strong opinion on his biggest concerns. “Personally, it's gay and lesbian rights. But for this next election it's more on health care and the war in Iraq,” he said.
When it comes to who’s voting for whom, it’s not just Democrat versus Republican, it’s Democrat versus Democrat versus Republican.
Lombardi said, “I am voting for Hillary because I like her plans for Iraq. They are more organized, thought out, and realistic. Obama I like just as well, so if he gets the bid then I will not be upset, but I feel like Obama’s plans are too unrealistic. Everyone says he is a great speaker/orator but I feel like his passion sometimes gets in the way of delivering a clear speech.”
Although Lombardi is an avid Clinton supporter, if it came down to it, he would still vote for Obama, unlike Jenny Cahak, an 18 year-old Communications Arts major at Marymount who supports Obama. She said if it’s not Obama, she wouldn’t mind the next president to be McCain. “I think we need a change. I don’t want another Republican, but I actually don’t mind McCain, I think he could do a good job.”
With different ages, come different views and concerns. Unlike the young liberals who are very concerned about the war in Iraq, the older generation is concerned about finances. “I am voting for John McCain, because I like his positions on national security, foreign policy and the economy,” said Charles Mirarchi, a 50 year-old director at Verizon. He has voted Republican in every election since he was 18, and does not agree with what the Democrats have to offer.
“The two Democratic candidates really want to expand government and penalize the biggest contributors that pay taxes,” said Mirarchi. “I hit the maximum every year in Social Security and when I hit it, that a benefit so I don’t have to pay more. I don’t think you should make national health insurance part of the government. I pay for my children’s college 100 percent. I have to earn my own health insurance because I earn too much money, and I don’t get any breaks. I have been paying the maximum in Social Security since 1990 and I won’t live long enough to get that money back,” he said.
Another concern for Mirarchi is taxes. “I also disagree with the national natural disaster insurance plan. I disagree with having to pay taxes for other people’s choice to live in national accident prone areas. All they are going to do is decrease my paycheck and increase my taxes,” Mirarchi said.
In terms of their voting patterns, Americans have a variety of opinions, and depending on age, race, background and income, it’s all a matter of what concerns hit home that will determine who they will support in this year’s election.