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What’s the Matter with Kids Today? 
Our latest infographic compares Millennials with their Silent Generation grandparents on hot topics including marriage for gay couples, legalization of marijuana, immigration reform, and the role of government. It may surprise you which issues they agree on and which issues they decidedly do not.

What’s the Matter with Kids Today?

Our latest infographic compares Millennials with their Silent Generation grandparents on hot topics including marriage for gay couples, legalization of marijuana, immigration reform, and the role of government. It may surprise you which issues they agree on and which issues they decidedly do not.

A charge implicit in the Moulitsas post is that moderate Democrats lack political courage—that they would do the right thing if only they were brave enough. This just doesn’t withstand scrutiny… [Liberals] don’t stare political death in the face on any vote, ever. The moderates do.

Matt Bennett & Jim Kessler, Co-Founders of Third Way

In “Kos Folds Up the Big Tent,” a recent op-ed in Politico Magazine, Matt Bennett and Jim Kesller discuss why Markos Moulitsas’ ”purity tests” for Democratic Senators are bad for the party.

Millennial doesn’t mean liberal

By Kirsten Powers, USA Today

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Bad news for Democrats: It seems Millennials are special little snowflakes after all.

A new report by the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way highlights the political complexity of a generation raised to believe they were utterly unique. When it comes to politics, they do it their way. Which could make the cohort that turned out en masse for President Obama unpredictable as voters.

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Edward Snowden: Whistleblower or Traitor?

When a major news story does NOT provoke a partisan response, it’s worth noticing. That seems to be the case with Edward Snowden.

Is Snowden a whistleblower or a traitor for leaking information about NSA surveillance activities? The public is split. But so are Republicans. And so are Democrats. The issue cuts right across party lines. Many Republicans are libertarians. Many Democrats are civil libertarians. And some Democrats are probably annoyed that the Snowden leaks embarrassed the Obama Administration.

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But views of Snowden show a definite pattern by age.

A solid majority of Americans in the millennial generation (under 30) regard Snowden as a whistleblower. Most seniors consider him a traitor. The older you are, the more critical you are of Snowden.

Young people have always been anti-establishment, and Snowden took on the political and military establishment. Interestingly, Tea Party Republicans are also anti-establishment (and especially anti-Obama). Most Tea Party Republicans agree with millennials that Snowden served the public interest (53%).

This piece is from the January 2014 edition of Bill Schneider’s Inside Politics Newsletter

What are Democrats going to do to hold true to our values but fundamentally rethink our ideas and modernize them for a whole new era?

Jonathan Cowan, president and co-founder of  Third Way.

Throughout his career, Cowan has helped build several centrist Democratic groups, tackling issues including the deficit and gun control. That effort has made him a target at times, sometimes from within his own party. And he’s OK with that. To learn more, read the full profile via The Hill.

 

2014: Another Election About Obamacare

By Bill Schneider

Here we go again.

2014 will be the third election in a row in which Obamacare is the central issue. The Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010, contributed to a fierce voter backlash against Democrats in November 2010. After the Supreme Court upheld the law in June 2012, the issue seemed to be settled by Obama’s re-election that November.

But no.

The botched Obamacare rollout this year has again thrust the issue to the top of the political agenda. Republicans are counting on opposition to Obamacare to propel them to a majority in the Senate next year. A conservative group is already running an ad attacking Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) for supporting Obamacare: “Next November, if you like your senator, you can keep her. If you don’t, you know what to do.”

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More voters choose indie label, buck Democrats and GOP

by Catalina Camia, USA Today

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The number of voters who are registering themselves as independents has climbed since 2008 when Democrats were at their high point, according to a new analysis from the centrist Democratic group Third Way.

The latest update in Third Way’s annual look at the electorate shows a jump of nearly 11.2% in independent voter registration from 2008 to 2013 in 24 states and the District of Columbia that keep partisan registration statistics.

Democratic registration is down by 1% and .04% for Republicans during that period, Third Way’s analysis showed. The group provided USA TODAY with an early look at its report.

The findings are a sign that voters have become frustrated with the major parties and don’t want to get bogged down by a party label when filling out a registration form.

"People are unwilling to call themselves Democrats or Republicans," said Michelle Diggles, a senior policy analyst with Third Way. "They are turned off by what they see politically in D.C."

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Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats

By Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler, Third Way

The de Blasio-Warren agenda won’t travel. Colorado is the real political harbinger.

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If you talk to leading progressives these days, you’ll be sure to hear this message: The Democratic Party should embrace the economic populism of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Such economic populism, they argue, should be the guiding star for Democrats heading into 2016. Nothing would be more disastrous for Democrats.

While New Yorkers think of their city as the center of the universe, the last time its mayor won a race for governor or senator—let alone president—was 1869. For the past 144 years, what has happened in the Big Apple stayed in the Big Apple. Some liberals believe Sen. Warren would be the Democratic Party’s strongest presidential candidate in 2016. But what works in midnight-blue Massachusetts—a state that has had a Republican senator for a total of 152 weeks since 1979—hasn’t sold on a national level since 1960.

The political problems of liberal populism are bad enough. Worse are the actual policies proposed by left-wing populists. The movement relies on a potent “we can have it all” fantasy that goes something like this: If we force the wealthy to pay higher taxes (there are 300,000 tax filers who earn more than $1 million), close a few corporate tax loopholes, and break up some big banks then—presto!—we can pay for, and even expand, existing entitlements. Meanwhile, we can invest more deeply in K-12 education, infrastructure, health research, clean energy and more.

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Virginia & New Jersey: Democratic Warning Flags & Republican Opportunities

by Michelle Diggles,Third Way

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The narrative of 2013 thus far has been the victory of pragmatism over dogmatic adherence to ideology, moderation and bipartisan compromise over extreme partisanship. Those on the Left may be tempted to view their victory in Virginia as a demographic inevitability, running up numbers with voters who are all but guaranteed to be Democrats for life. But buried within the polling are warning signs for Democrats and opportunities for Republicans.

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe won the 18-29 year-old vote by a bare margin of 45% to 40%. A surprising 15% voted for Robert Sarvis, which marked the highest level of support the libertarian candidate received from any age group. By contrast, President Obama won 60% of younger voters in 2008 and 2012 in Virginia. But last night’s election proves that President Obama’s large margins of victory among younger voters cannot be assumed to simply transfer to other Democratic candidates. McAuliffe may have secured a plurality of the youth vote, but he was down 15 points from President Obama’s margin.

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