Millennials Might Kill the Republican Party Next
If you’re a millennial (like me!), you’re used to being accused of killing things. Like, a lot of things. This time, we’re being accused of offing the greatest foe of all: the Republican Party. You’re welcome, America.
See, unlike the generations that came before us, millennials are not getting more conservative as we age, on the whole. Gee, I wonder if it has to do with the multiple “once-in-a-lifetime” recessions we’ve had to deal with all of our working life, the stark reminders that the climate is changing, the constant attacks on civil liberties, or perhaps—just maybe—that going full-fascist wasn’t the right call for the GOP!? Regardless, new voting statistics are out, and the numbers don’t lie: As a generation, we f*cking hate Republicans. And we’re voting more than ever. Per The New York Times:
Millennials and Generation Z are growing parts of the electorate, while older, more conservative generations are gradually exiting the electorate. Even in the short term, the age dynamics matter: A Republican will have a slightly harder time winning the presidency in 2024 than in 2020. In the long term, Republicans will struggle to win national elections unless they can appeal to more Americans born since 1980.
As a reminder, the start date for this generation is usually agreed upon as 1981; many millennials are in their forties now. That means we’re no longer the rude youngsters who are killing all the things Boomers love. I mean, we’re still hellbent on killing the things Boomers love (case in point, re: Republicans), but our knees hurt a lot more than they did in our twenties. This means our preference for the Democratic party remains strong, bucking the previous generational trends that came before us. Per The Intelligencer:
Analyzing voter file data, the Democratic firm Catalist found that millennials and zoomers cast more than 60 percent of their ballots for Democratic candidates in last year’s midterms; in 2016, millennials actually gave a slightly smaller share of their votes to Hillary Clinton. This was especially remarkable, since midterms under Democratic presidents tend to see disproportionately high Republican turnout. That millennials voted more Democratic in Biden’s first midterm than they had in 2016 appeared to indicate that aging effects were essentially nil: Millennials were becoming no more conservative (and, perhaps, even a bit more liberal) as they got older. Which would suggest that generational replacement is poised to devastate the conservative movement.
I hope that somewhere, Ted Cruz is crying into his can of soup right now. Your days in power are numbered, Ted!
However, The New York Times points out that while older millennials are shifting right, the majority still do not prefer Republicans, and younger millennials even less so. Leave it to the Times to try to give the Republicans a win when there is none. On the whole, we hate Republicans and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. Good job, us! The Intelligencer also offers this optimistic note:
Critically, millennials are also much more Democratic than their predecessors were at the same age[….] And this exceptional partisan distribution is rooted in the generation’s distinctive social values, which do not typically change drastically over time.
I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too: the articles do not further break down millennial political party preference by race, which would be fascinating data to have.
For the Gen-Xers out there: no, I didn’t forget about you. It’s just that, well, as a generation, you like Republicans, and chances are, at least some of you voted for Reagan and Bush. According to the Times:
Contrary to conventional wisdom, younger voters throughout U.S. history have not automatically been liberal. In 1984, Americans under 30 strongly backed Ronald Reagan’s re-election. In 2000, they split almost evenly between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
Give the millennials this win, we need it. It’s not like we’ll ever be able to buy a home in this country. Potentially killing the Republican party is all we have.
(featured image: Jim Vondruska, Getty Images)
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