Those of you with a statistics background know that most continuous distributions fall into what’s called a bell curve. I won’t bore you with arcane details, but what this basically means is that on a graph, there’s a smooth hump where an event is most likely to occur, which tapers off on either side as it becomes less likely.
Looking at the Civitas Vote Tracker, one would expect voter age to be roughly bell-shaped. Historically the most likely voters have been in the mid 60s, so that’s where we’d expect the hump to be. And so it is… almost.
One interesting feature which has been evident in the vote tracker from the very beginning – even before one-stop voting – is a spike in 63 year olds that breaks the smoothness of the bell shape. You can see it in civilian ballots, one-stop votes, white voters, to a lesser extent with black voters; you can see it across all the parties and both genders. 63 year olds of every demographic are voting in droves.
So why is this so robust across every major demographic – and why 63 year olds?
Well, the minimum age for collecting social security benefits is 62 years old. These 63 year olds have just started receiving their social security, and they realize they’ve been scammed. And it’s made them mad enough to outvote people of every other age.
Can we trust this anger? Are they going to expose the failure of social security and finally bring its abolition or privatization to the table? Or are they going to demand more money from it, following the entitlement mentality that’s currently ripping France apart? Who knows. If history is any indication, probably the latter. But if nothing else, the fact that social security is failing these new North Carolinian seniors ought to serve to put the debate back on the table. It’s been our “political third rail” for far too long, and the consequences are only going to get more dire as more people turn 63.