McConnell’s comments are where we begin our news roundup of the week that was.
The Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate weren’t so good at the start of 2022. They weren’t as badly off as they were in the House (as they always are), but they were clear underdogs.
In other words, McConnell seems to be absolutely right.
The results were particularly notable because in all of those polls, Biden was underwater in his net preference rating (favorable minus unfavorable).
The reason Democrats were in the lead in both states was largely because Republican candidates were also underwater. Masters’ net preference rating was -4 points, while Johnson’s was -6 and -9 points in the Fox and Marquette polls respectively.
Democratic candidates in both states, on the other hand, had positive net preference ratings.
These are not the only purple states where we see the phenomenon of Democratic candidates being relatively popular, while Biden and Republican Senate candidates are unpopular. The same is true in Georgia and Pennsylvania, which Biden won by about a point or less in 2020 and Trump won in 2016.
The cause, again, was unpopular Republican candidates. Walker’s net preference rating was -5 points, while Oz’s was -20 points. Democratic candidates in both states had positive net favorability ratings, which made up for the fact that Biden was underwater in his net favorability rating in both states.
On the contrary, it seems that the Republicans are the ones fighting the challengers in unexpected territory. A McConnell-linked super PAC only had to book $28 million in advertising in Ohio, a state Trump won by 8 points in 2020. Polls there have been surprisingly close.
Democrats would more than welcome this scheme in 2022.
Facebook faces a youth revolt
One group of Americans who will not vote midterm this year are teenagers under 18. However, they represent the pool of potential future voters and reaching them will be important for both political parties.
In a rather surprising development for this millennial, Facebook’s popularity among teens has plummeted. According to the Pew poll, only 32% of 13-17 year olds use Facebook. That’s down from 71% in a 2014-2015 poll.
A big problem for Facebook is that it doesn’t seem to be addictive enough. Only 10% of teenagers say they consult Facebook several times a day.
Compare that to the most popular social media sites: Snapchat, Instagram (owned by Facebook), Tiktok, and YouTube. Multiple site or app visits per day ranged from 37% for Instagram to 60% for YouTube.
All of these sites and apps are known to let you quickly scan lots of photos and videos. Although Facebook has many of these characteristics, there can also be a lot of writing.
Not surprisingly, the most addictive sites are also the most popular social media sites and apps. Almost all teens nationwide (95%) say they use YouTube at least a little. TikTok comes in second with 67%. Snapchat and Instagram come third and fourth. Since 2014-2015, Snapchat (41% to 59%) and Instagram (52% to 62%) have seen growth among teens.
The bottom line is that the once cool kid on the block may have grown old and uncool like many of us.
For your brief encounters: National Seniors Day!
Speaking of older Americans, Sunday marks a day to celebrate the young at heart among us. And for those under 65, know that you too will hopefully grow old too.