Jon Stewart said on CNN on Tuesday that he hadn't voted in Tuesday's election, causing a stir given that the central notion of his entire show is that politics is funny but important. Later, on a live broadcast of "The Daily Show," Stewart apologized, saying he did vote. "I was being flip and it kind of took off, and I want to apologize," he said, "... because it sent a message that I didn't think voting was important or I didn't think voting was a big issue and I do and I did vote."
Stewart's embarrassment is understandable. While there's no denying that a surge of support for Republicans was going to make this a nasty election for liberals like Stewart, his viewers are part of the problem. We're talking about young voters, who sat out the election and helped cost Democrats votes.
According to Pew, 39 percent of Stewart's viewers are 18-to-39 years old and 36 percent of his viewers are 30-to-49 years old. Meanwhile, 16 percent of his viewers are 50-to-64 and just 7 percent are over 65. That's the youngest viewership of any major "news" audience except for "The Colbert Report."
This younger group, according to National Exit Polls released late Tuesday, trends Democratic. Democrats enjoyed a 54-to-43 advantage over Republicans in the 18-to-29 set and 5o-to-48 edge in the 30-44 age group.
Yet chronically, these voters sit out mid-term elections, and Tuesday was no different. The 2010 wipeout helped cripple President Obama's tenure, and the 2014 disaster is another huge blow.
It's actually a problem endemic to Democrats in mid-term elections: some of their most loyal supporters don't show up to the polls as much as they do in presidential elections. Obama has even called this a "congenital disease." This is not as much a function of Stewart's audience, however, as his viewers are male and better educated than many other news sources.
It's other groups - like non-married women and low-income people - who also sit out the mid-terms and cause Democrats so much trouble.