Millennials Won't Grow Into Republicans & That's Why The GOP Should Be Scared
Knowing what website you're currently reading, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you're under 35. If that's the case, there's also a shot that you're not a fan of Donald Trump. I am not trying to make assumptions here — it's numbers. A recent large-scale poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that among respondents aged 18 to 34, just 19 percent support Trump. Trump hasn't been doing much better among young voters in other polls — a Google Consumer Survey found just 36 percent of people aged 18 to 34 supporting Trump, compared to 49 percent supporting Hillary Clinton.
So. young people aren't exactly voting Republican. What else is new?
The cliche has long been that young'uns vote liberal, and as they age and solidify careers and families, they move away from youthful idealism and towards more stable conservatism. There's an old quote falsely attributed to Winston Churchill: "If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain."
Except political science data (that's right, political science data — don't worry I'll include a red panda GIF at the end) doesn't really back this up. While there are certainly shifts in ideology as people age, the Pew Research Center found that generational groups stay mostly where they were when they first voted or became politically aware. People who turned 18 when Reagan was president still mostly vote Republican, people who came of age under Bill Clinton vote Democratic.
This election will likely be the third in a row where the Republicans do awfully among millennials. Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by 23 points among voters under 29 in 2012, an impressive feat that was actually less than the 37-point margin by which Obama beat John McCain in 2008.
And as one Republican operative — formerly the communications director for Jeb Bush — put it, the modern Republican Party could be getting even worse on this:
The millennial generation is more liberal than their parents on many issues. Young people are more likely than previous generations to support LGBTQ rights, gun control, and marijuana legalization, and they are less likely to support the death penalty. Young people are also more likely to think government intervention can boost the economy, and are supportive of immigrant rights — unsurprisingly since millennials are more ethnically and racially diverse than the country as a whole. And young people, of course, helped the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders do much better in the Democratic primary than anyone expected.
In a recent poll of Texas, a ruby-red state, Clinton led 49 to 44 percent among voters under 65. If things don't change, we're looking towards a Republican Party that won't be able to win in its largest stronghold. If things don't change, we might be looking towards no Republican Party.
OK, as promised, here's a cute furry thing.
But seriously, Republicans. If you want your party to remain not just grand, but in existence, it may be time for some changes.