Originally Posted by MidgardDragon
My completely uneducated hypothesis based on just anecdotal evidence that I've witnessed is that younger people that start out liberal during their time spent trying to break into a stable life and stable working condition slowly grow more conservative once they "settle in" and become a part of the society that gave them so much trouble in the first place. Followed by a decline in conservatism and return to a more liberal viewpoint once they are no longer part of the "system" and are once again on the cusps of society.
Also, it seems to me that both young people and old people are more likely to use government services, at least in the US. Younger people make use of federal student aid, various job programs, Peace Corps, and so on, and those who don't personally use these programs probably have friends who do. Older people start getting their SSI payments and using Medicare maybe live in a subsidized nursing home or use some sort of subsidized transportation service. If they don't personally use those programs some of their friends probably do.
Obviously, everyone uses (directly or indirectly) government services like roads and police and whatnot, but the services used by twenty-somethings and eighty-somethings are more personal (direct payments between the government and an individual). It seems to me that the connection between more general services, politics, and individual voters is less obvious. Unless you're in Minnesota, where roads have become the new political litmus test. Who cares about abortion or the war: what's your opinion on potholes?