Feature

Millennial trouble for the GOP

“Young liberals own the future of American politics.”

Jonathan ChaitNYMag.com

“Young liberals own the future of American politics,” said Jonathan Chait. The Millennial generation will make up a sizable 24 percent of voters by 2016, and a new Pew Research survey shows that they’re “more liberal than their elders” on almost every issue. The findings point to an existential dilemma for Republicans. Millennials are “much less white than older voters,” meaning that conservatives will have to win even higher margins among whites “merely to stay even” with Democrats. And Millennials are much more liberal than previous generations, and a majority of them say they favor bigger government and universal health coverage—which the GOP, at its core, opposes. Only 26 percent of Millennials call themselves conservative, compared with 41 percent of Baby Boomers and 45 percent of the World War II generation. In the short term, the GOP can still win House and Senate races by tapping the anger of older, white Americans. But the electorate is “growing steadily more liberal.” If the GOP doesn’t evolve on such issues as health care, immigration, and gay marriage, it will have to forget about winning national elections.

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