Gen X Shakes up the Presidential Election: Obama and Palin Reflect Important Shift in American Politics, Finds Generational Expert

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The outcome of the Presidential Election is too close to call and may remain so until the last ballots have been cast - but according to the research of generational expert Ann Fishman, the political sway of Generation X is already a dramatic and important impact in the election of 2008.

In the most important respects, both candidates chose their own courses, each relying on values and skill sets as they alone determined. They see themselves as individuals first, party politicians second

The outcome of the Presidential Election is too close to call and may remain so until the last ballots have been cast - but according to the research of generational expert Ann Fishman, the political sway of Generation X is already a dramatic and important impact in the election of 2008.

"Senator Barack Obama and Governor Sarah Palin's positioning of their candidacies in the days leading up to the election shows Gen X has firmly asserted itself," says Fishman

(http://www.annfishman.com).

Fishman's research into the values, attitudes and lifestyles of the working generations - Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y -, demonstrates that each generation brings a distinctive set of traits, habits and characteristics that are important keys to understanding political dynamics and voting patterns.

"While it's clear that in the end, electoral calculations and the political 'ground game' will determine which ticket receives how many votes, it's also clear that both parties are being driven by Gen X, a generation of individuals, who favor addressing issues in their own unique style - with passion, and not as mere partisans."

Gen X: Seeing Politics through "Fresh Eyes"

Born between 1961 and 1981, Generation Xers were often "latch-key kids." They came from families where the family divorce rates were high and where their parents often pursued idealistic civic causes or fast-track jobs, frequently at the expense of traditional home environments. Xers had to rely on themselves from an early age and are a generation of practical "survivors" whose attitudes are reflected in their politics, values, consumer preferences and work habits.

Says Fishman, "Growing up, many Xers had to feed themselves, clothe themselves and choose their own directions. Their childhood was very different from those of previous 'Ozzie and Harriet' traditional family experiences. Like Gen X voters whose experiences they mirror, Obama's and Palin's stories share distinctive Gen X roots."

Obama and Palin: Quintessential Xers

As his memoirs attest, Obama grew up in a bi-racial, separated family, and ultimately was raised by his maternal grandparents. And while Palin's upbringing was a bit more conventional - her outdoor exploits nothwithstanding -, upon entering politics, she chose her own path, bucking the powerful Alaska Republican Party. From a generational perspective, this was not unlike Obama, who as a Harvard-educated lawyer with more profitable avenues available to him, instead built his career through ties with his church and his job as a community organizer in his new hometown of Chicago.

"In the most important respects, both candidates chose their own courses, each relying on values and skill sets as they alone determined. They see themselves as individuals first, party politicians second," says Fishman.

She concludes, "This dovetails perfectly with the direction of the 2008 election, which is away from 'party politics as usual,' and in the direction of new thinking - 'Mavericks' and change.

As Gen Xers have moves into positions of power, Obama and Palin have changed previous generations' definition of race and gender.

Now, they are also changing the political landscape, bringing new life to their respective parties."

About Generation X:
Now one of the most populous generations, Gen X is, according to Fishman's research, a pivotal generation that has endured divorce, one-parent families, step-families, working parents, latch-key lives, violence on television, violence in the streets, the results of a drug culture, and a breaking down of traditional values and sources of comfort.

About Ann Fishman and Generational Targeted-Marketing:
More information on Ann Fishman's generational expertise can be found at http://www.annfishman.com. Fishman's company, Generational-Targeted Marketing Corp. (GTM), is a specialized marketing firm providing insight into consumer preferences, buying habits and workforce issues affecting the American marketplace. As GTM's president, Fishman has served as a consultant to numerous corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations, sharing information on generational issues with them. She also serves as a member of the Adjunct Faculty at New York University. For further information on GTM, call 1-212-737-0155.

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