Millennials are far less partisan than older voters, and their concerns are not being given a voice by either party. And while it’s true that the GOP’s future is about as healthy as cancer, there’s similarly no reason to think we’re entering an era of Democratic ascendancy.
If that sounds surprising, it’s probably because it seemed that the one loud-and-clear message to come out of the 2012 presidential race was that the kids still loved Barack Obama and the Democratic Party for which he stands. In a contest between two equally unashamed wearers of mom jeans, Millennial voters between the ages of 18 and 29 picked Obama over everybody’s least-favorite uncle, Mitt Romney, by a whopping 60 percent to 36 percent.
Sure, that was a smaller margin than in 2008, when Obama pulled an amazing 66 percent to John McCain’s amazingly miserable 31 percent, but it still provided the cloud-like cushion by which the president easily won his second term. It’s incredible, really: Romney handily won a majority of votes from the 30-and-over crowd, but Obama’s ginormous landslide among Millennials was more than enough to give him a 5 million vote win and an easy-peasy 51 percent to 47 percent margin.
Pew Research has noted that the Democratic presidential candidate has easily carried the youth vote in each election since 2004 and underscored that Millennials “are far more likely than older voters to identify as Democrats than their older counterparts.” John Kerry—who mixed the charm of Frankenstein’s monster with a similar inability to utter coherent sentences and thoughts—beat Bush among the kids 54 percent to 47 percent.
After the 2012 election, according to Pew, barely a quarter of Millennials self-identified as Republican. When it comes to ideology, one-third of Millennials consider themselves liberals while just a quarter call themselves conservative.
Game, set, match, now and forever, amen. It looks like it’s Democrats from here to eternity. By Pew’s accounting, all the party of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid needs to do is sit and back and watch the landslides roll in.
Except this is just flat-out wrong. A new national poll conducted by the Reason Foundation (the nonprofit that publishes Reason.com and Reason TV, the website and video channel I edit) and the Rupe Foundation reveals a very different reality, one in which Millennials are in fact far less partisan than older Americans and far more difficult to imagine as the salvation of the Democratic Party.
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