Narrowing the Millennial Gap

Young Conservatives need a better publicist, or should I say a better blogger? For far too long the political parties have taken us for granted. Most assume we won’t vote, and even if we did, we’re sure to be Democrats. Republicans seemed content to win older demographics and hope that we would see the red-tinged light as we aged.

After years of being the red-headed step child of politics 2008 was our coming out party. Unfortunately, Republicans had very little to celebrate. The first to truly capture the importance of Twitter, Facebook, and iPhones, the Obama campaign created an excitement amongst Millennials. Again, the Republican Party seemed willing to play the waiting game, confident they would win young adults’ hearts and minds as they grew older.

After a weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference it was clear Republicans have seen the light on the importance of young adults. As one regular CPAC attendee said,

“I’ve been coming to these for years. This used to be a convention of blue hairs; now it has youthful energy.”

But CPAC is merely the latest symptom of a viral growth in youth support for the conservative movement. Just two years ago, at the height of Obama’s popularity, the Democratic advantage in party affiliation among young voters reached 62% to 30%. This 32% margin was reflective of Obama margin of victory in the 2008 presidential election in which he defeated John McCain amongst young adults by a whopping 68% to 30% margin.

But the tides are turning. A recent Pew Research study found that,

“The “Millennial Generation” of young voters played a big role in the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but their attachment to the Democratic Party weakened markedly over the course of 2009.”

Beyond the short term benefit of picking up votes in the crucial 2010 midterm elections, the shift represents the ability for Republicans to grow the next generation of conservatives. Contrary to the “wait till their older” approach, studies show that a person’s party identification, once formed, remains remarkably stable. As the influential study “The American Voter” found,

“Persons who identify with one of the parties typically have held the same partisan tie for all or most of their adults lives.”

This surprising truth bears out in the course of history. For instance as political scientist Norman Orstein writes,

“All the research done on the dramatic Democratic realignment of the 1930s shows that the key was young voters, coming of age as the Depression hit, influenced deeply by the contrast between Hoover and Roosevelt . . . those voters became lifelong Democrats.”

A similar trend happened in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan captured the hearts of young adults with a patriotic excitement that extolled American exceptionalism. Those same voters played an enormous part in the Republican Revolution of 1994 and remain the Republican party’s strongest age cohort.

The stability of young voter’s ideology combined with Obama’s landslide victory should have spelled long term trouble for the Republican brand. But we’ve bounced back. As the Pew Research study shows,

29 percent of Millennials describe themselves as liberals, 28 percent say they are conservatives and 40 percent identify themselves as moderates.

This snapshot ignores the momentum that is definitely on the side of conservatives. By focusing on issues that resonate with younger adults – small government and lower spending – Republicans have a chance to create a base of support for years to come. The enthusiasm is there. Spending a day walking the halls of CPAC would tell you that. More importantly, walking the halls of a college campus would tell you that. College Republicans have seen an enormous uptick and support. As a College Republican leader told me this past week, “Barack Obama has been the best thing for recruitment we’ve seen.” Beyond being a divisive figure, Obama has engaged young people in a way other presidents haven’t. But political engagement is only half the equation and College Republicans have cultivated that newfound interest into conservative momentum. We are not only the voice of young conservatives…we are future of the party.

- Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee

0
Your rating: None

Comments

 What seems to be scary is

 What seems to be scary is political parties falling into ideologies or failed ideologies. There are many problems to be solved in our country and they cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, time after time we just see ideologies and the country is never governed. If I came out with some far left ideology of just taxing and spending and ignoring everything else, then you would call me a nut. And yet, you come out with right wing ideology "small government and lower spending" which is commendable, however, it is not the only thing in the world.

Instead of raising our hands and shouting "alleluia", let us find some solutions to our problems. There are plenty of people suffering at the hands of failed politics. Republicans have shown that they don't know how to run the country any more than the democrats. 

Michael Smerconish: For Me, the Party Is Over

While it's encouraging for me

While it's encouraging for me to see the youth inching back to the GOP, there's a much larger trend of dealignment. It's kind of disappointing to see how my generation lacks conviction. I almost want to believe the liberal millenial hype. But foreign policy aside, the generations all appear to be moving in the same direction on the issues.

In other words, you moderates have nothing to worry about. You can keep talking about "getting something done" without actually explaining what you want to do.

Hilarious that Smerconish yearns for the days of Goldwater:

"Extremism in Defense of Liberty" vs. "The Great Society"

That's not a strict ideological debate?

 I have always said in the

 I have always said in the past that what you need to do is invest in your country, in your people, and in the future. This is not a hard concept to understand. It may also include fixing the budget and cutting spending in government. And the only way of doing that is with commissions. The executing of policies is what suffers with failed ideologies, cronyism, interest groups, and whatever else. Somehow we lost our way. We need a strong leader who isn't tied down with political rift raft from the left or the right. 

In other words, you moderates have nothing to worry about. You can keep talking about "getting something done" without actually explaining what you want to do.

And we saw nothing done with tax cuts and stay the course. Also we hear talk of supporting small business-which means nothing in my town if you lose the factories. And we hear the right talk of "free market principles",again this means nothing. Seems like republicans are caught up with so much ideology that means nothing to most Americans. 

Trapped in a corner

Ideologies are Simply the Core

When I talk about young adults being drawn by messages of small government and limited spending I don't mean that is all they believe. Obviously, each individual brings with them their own takes on how to accomplish these goals as well as a host of other views on things like abortion, immigration, taxes, etc. But through the myriad approaches and beliefs lies a core interest in a small government. Not to say that it is the only thing in the world so much as it is simply the lens through which they approach most issues.

Must be hard to recruit 20-something to Republicans

If you want to know why so few 20-somethings support conservatives or Republicans, you just have to look at the insane support Republicans have for open borders and unlimited immigration. 

Less than 60 percent of 20-somethings are white and non-whites will always support the Democrats as long as the government is allow to have race based policiies.

What can the Republicans do to get votes when the Democrats say  that they will tax whites and give the money to non-whites.  The Bush Administraiotn had eight years to do something to limit the demographic changes that help the DEmocrats but decided that cheap labor for big business was more important than the long term consequences of open borders and unlimited immigration.

Not hard at all, the Tea Party is recruiting Big numbers

The tea Partiers are not Registered within the 2 Parties necessarity.  In fact, they are made up of Independents and republicans and Democrats who regret their Votes.

And the Tea Party "members" send Money bombs, to Joe Wilson, Scott Brown, etc......So you just keep watching the republicans, while the Tea party members keep voting in New Blood. 

The Democrat ratings are doing great, they are in full control of the election cycle......hmmm..hmmmm...hmmmm..........just relax, Dems are doing great, those polls are just numbers.

But wait, I thought Florida's Crist was a Republican ?   what happened to him ?   Rubio happened.....isn't he younger ?   Isn't he a republican / Isn't Crist saying he might go independent ?  

I don't think the dems have a clue.................they think Republicans are their competition, and its really the AMERICANS in the Tea Party.......The "Baggers" as you call them.