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
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- 10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2014
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- How to make classic pulled pork
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why scientists can't kill HIV
Subscribe to the Week