The party needs to start wooing millennials. Photo: (Ramin Talaie/Corbis)
A new Pew Research survey finds a demographic trend in the United States that threatens to push the Republican Party into permanent minority status unless it changes quickly.
The survey found that millennials — the generation of adults between the ages of 18 and 33 — vote heavily Democratic and have "liberal views on many political and social issues, ranging from a belief in an activist government to support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization."
They are also the most racially diverse generation in American history and it’s a key factor in explaining their political liberalism.
But, as Pew notes, it is not the only factor: "Across a range of political and ideological measures, white millennials, while less liberal than the non-whites of their generation, are more liberal than the whites in older generations."
They are also the only generation in which self-described conservatives do not outnumber self-described liberals.
Meanwhile, the most loyal Republicans are growing older. As time marches on, their numbers are dwindling.
But Republicans do have an opening: Millennials may be more liberal, but they don't have much loyalty to the Democratic Party.
In fact, 50 percent of all millennials now describe themselves as political independents — the highest level of political disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the last quarter-century. They don’t like either of the two major political parties.
Nonetheless, this generation mostly votes Democratic and has little in common with the Republican Party. Needless to say, it's a real problem for the GOP.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Hey, Paul Ryan's new poverty plan isn't completely terrible!
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
Subscribe to the Week