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Millennials Aren’t That Into God, Patriotism, or Having Kids: Poll
Voting Republican has become an activity analogous to reminiscing about air-raid drills or complaining incessantly about back pain: ordinary for boomers, but a marker of eccentricity among the young.
In 2016, Donald Trump commanded the support of only 28 percent of voters under 30, according to Pew Research. His disapproval rating among Americans under 35 currently hovers around 70 percent. And millennials’ antipathy for our Republican president isn’t personal; the Fox News grandpa-in-chief might be especially unappealing to the rising generation, but the kids don’t have much use for the GOP’s kinder, gentler reactionaries, either. Less than 30 percent of millennials wanted Republicans to retain control of Congress last year. And in broader measures of generational opinion, both millennials and Gen-Zers evince higher levels of support for liberal ideological premises and policy proposals than any older cohorts.
This is a big problem for the GOP. For a while, a rightward drift among boomers — combined with millennials’ woeful turnout rates — kept Republicans from paying much of a price for refusing to update its agenda for the rising generations. But in 2018, the oldest Gen-Zers entered the electorate, and millennial turnout surged. As a result, for the first time ever, millennial, Gen-Z, and Gen-X voters collectively cast more ballots than boomers or “silent types” for the first time ever in a midterm election.
This state of affairs leaves the Republican Party with three options for preserving its medium-term competitiveness in national elections: Adjust its platform to better meet the demands of younger voters, ramp up voter suppression efforts, or pray that the kids will age out of their liberalism.