By Senior producer
msnbc.com
updated 11/6/2006 3:16:24 PM ET 2006-11-06T20:16:24

They are on MySpace, they make up one third of the audience at You Tube and at I-Tunes, and advertisers love them.

Nope, not teenagers.  Generation Jones.

The “Jonesers” were born between 1954 and 1965, sandwiched in between the Baby Boomers and Generation X.

In the tech world, Jonesers are known as the “early adapters,” the ones with the knowledge and the cash to jump on the latest tech trends.  And that should come as no shock—Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Steve Case all come from this generation.

But new research indicates they may be attractive to more than just retailers.  Generation Jones could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Jonathan Pontell is a cultural historian who has conducted extensive research on this demographic, America’s largest living generation at 53 million people.  He points to the 2004 election as evidence of the Jonesers at work.

“Generation Jones was the decisive vote which gave George W. Bush the victory, and the polling now shows that they will have a crucial role on Tuesday,” he said via e-mail.

And they will play a crucial role in some very high profile Senate races, like Maryland, Tennessee and Missouri.

A new Rasmussen poll breaks out polling results by generation.  In all three states, Generation Jones is evenly divided between the two candidates, while their Boomer and X-er relatives have pretty much made up their minds.

In 2004, Rasmussen declared “GenJones” the most volatile of the swing voters.  Pontell says that the Jonesers have the highest percentage of undecided voters in this election, as well.

“It appears almost certain that whichever party is able to get Jonesers to shift on Tuesday is the party that will control the Senate,” he said.

While they tend to lean Republican, it remains to be seen which party they’ll be jonesing for on Tuesday.

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