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Millennials Turn Rightward?
National Review Online ^ | April 10, 2012 | Nathaniel Botwinick

Posted on 04/11/2012 5:14:54 PM PDT by neverdem

The “luster of Obama’s promises has worn off” and “hope” and “change” no longer drive young voters. In 2008, the “millennial” generation, comprising those between the ages of 18 to 29, voted for President Obama by a margin of 2–1. In 2004, President Bush lost this demographic by nine points to John Kerry. But, for the first time in over a decade, it appears the trend has reversed — young Americans are now reconsidering their allegiances to the Democratic party. Why have the millennials, the group that Obama has described as “the foundation of [his] campaign,” abandoned him? To quote another Democratic campaign, “it’s the economy, stupid.”

According to research conducted for Resurgent Republic, a conservative policy organization, young voters are no longer enamored with the president because of the current state of the economy. The millennials chosen for the focus groups were all self-identified independents who had voted for Obama in 2008 but were now undecided on the generic ballot. The dramatic effects of the “Great Recession” had shifted the mindsets of these younger Americans — unemployment amongst this crucial Obama demographic is currently at its highest point since the end of World War II.

Furthermore, among the millennials interviewed, there was a “palpable sense of underemployment” according to Luke Frans of Resurgent Republic. Although these young voters still like Obama personally, they now hold him responsible for his policies. Discussions of “hope” and “change” only elicited cynicism from them. A young North Carolinian surveyed said that President Obama “promised the moon and could not even deliver the upper atmosphere,” while another voter from Raleigh complained that “we expected a lot more.”

Resurgent Republic is not the only group to have discovered this trend among younger voters. Generation Opportunity, a new, non-partisan organization that seeks to organize millennials on economic issues, has also found rising dissatisfaction over Obama’s handling of the economy from previously ardent supporters. Its polling of young Americans across the country shows that 54 percent believe America is heading in the wrong direction. According to Paul Conway, the president of Generation Opportunity, the “number one overwhelming issue [for them], which folks deal with everyday, is the lack of jobs in America.” Generation Opportunity has found that the current economy has forced 77 percent of millennials to put their lives on hold. Many are delaying buying a home, saving for retirement, paying off debt, returning to school, or starting a family.

Millennials around the country are echoing these findings. Chris Pizzo, a 27-year-old lawyer in Florida, insists that there are “serious doubts among young voters and young Americans” about this economy. Chris says that even his “company, [which is] looking to expand and grow,” is “seeing individuals looking to work with us” who are significantly overqualified, “as traditional options aren’t there.” Trevor Brownlow, an 18-year-old freshman at University of North Carolina Chapel-Hill, describes how the economy has left him “unsettled,” and forced him to ask himself “what opportunities are out there?” The millennials are looking for concrete plans for an economic recovery — whether it is deficit reduction, lower gas prices, or tax cuts. Deficit reduction is of particular interest to this younger generation, as there is a realization that they will be stuck with the ramifications of the federal government’s overspending.

Independent millennials that are leaning Republican are focused solely on the economy and are not being drawn to the Republican party by social issues. In fact, according to Luke Frans, the millennials in the Resurgent Republic focus groups refused to discuss the Republican party’s social views. In other interviews, millennials have noted that they preferred the Republican party’s leadership on the economy, but could not bring themselves to vote for a Republican out of distaste for current GOP positions on gay marriage and abortion.

For the general election, the path is clear. Millennials will be a key factor in the swing states. If they vote in similar numbers for President Obama, then it will be nearly impossible for the Republican candidate to triumph. However, these younger voters can be swayed by a strong economic plan. If the GOP seizes upon millennial disillusionment with the Democratic party, they could secure an entirely new Republican constituency.

Nathaniel Botwinick is an editorial intern at National Review



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: college; debt; generationy; millennials; studentloans
Obama Campus Fervor Losing to Apathy as Students Sour on 2012

I remember a poll from a couple of years ago saying that a small majority of young voters thought abortion was wrong, IIRC.

1 posted on 04/11/2012 5:15:01 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: Oceander

Cheer up!


2 posted on 04/11/2012 5:28:51 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

Unlikely.

These brain dead juice boxers have been thoroughly brainwashed by the ‘education’ system and pop media culture.

They’re forever imprinted with a socialistic, nihilistic mindset.


3 posted on 04/11/2012 5:30:13 PM PDT by Carl LaFong (Experts say experts should be ignored.)
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To: Carl LaFong

Don’t worry, people can be remarkably resistant to their parents’(or schools’) brainwashing.


4 posted on 04/11/2012 5:39:32 PM PDT by MetaThought
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To: Carl LaFong

I could see it. Next month will mark the fourth graduating class under obama to face no jobs and moving back home. I think they get it. Republicans would be foolish to write them off.


5 posted on 04/11/2012 5:50:08 PM PDT by jersey117 (The Stepford Media should be sued for malpractice)
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To: neverdem

Come on in, Millenials! The water’s fine!


6 posted on 04/11/2012 5:50:49 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Carl LaFong
These brain dead juice boxers have been thoroughly brainwashed by the ‘education’ system and pop media culture.

This is not as true as you would think. The majority of college kids are NOT leftists. They just trod on, saying nothing for fear of low grades due to their opinion.

7 posted on 04/11/2012 5:53:06 PM PDT by struggle (http://killthegovernment.wordpress.com/)
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To: neverdem

My two millennials were raised tight and are of the right.


8 posted on 04/11/2012 5:55:55 PM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: John W

That’s raised “right” of course.


9 posted on 04/11/2012 5:57:04 PM PDT by John W (Viva Cristo Rey!)
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To: neverdem

I don’t mind let 18 year olds drink, but I wish to hell we wouldn’t let them vote.


10 posted on 04/11/2012 6:30:54 PM PDT by BobL
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To: Carl LaFong
"These brain dead juice boxers have been thoroughly brainwashed by the ‘education’ system and pop media culture. They’re forever imprinted with a socialistic, nihilistic mindset."

Not entirely true. Many of them just go along with the leftist garbage in order to get through school with good grades. They're not all stupid. Our sons are 19 and 16, and we do a lot of volunteer work in the schools and with Scouts. I'm very impressed with many of these young people. They are mostly clean-cut, hard working, and caring young people. Many of them see right through the indoctrination. Others don't know quite what to think but they don't buy all that the leftist establishment is selling. They give me true hope.

11 posted on 04/11/2012 6:59:19 PM PDT by Think free or die
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To: Carl LaFong

It is amazing how experiencing the socialistic, controlling, authoritarian nanny state up close and personal will activate the natural reactionary independence of most young people.

I can thank the progressives for forcing me towards conservatism. I think there are a lot of us, here.


12 posted on 04/11/2012 7:03:36 PM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: neverdem

Young people are decidedly pro life, I do believe. Their opinions on gay issues are from brainwashing from education, the media and the culture. The effort to stand up for traditional morality and the family really, really needs to take a different strategy to reach this group. I think it could reach a lot of them if done differently.


13 posted on 04/11/2012 7:07:20 PM PDT by WashingtonSource
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To: MetaThought
Don’t worry, people can be remarkably resistant to their parents’(or schools’) brainwashing

As we saw in 2008 right?

14 posted on 04/11/2012 7:36:52 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Carl LaFong

If they are not enthusiastic about Obama, they’ll just stay home.


15 posted on 04/11/2012 7:41:17 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: hinckley buzzard

Well, eventually they figure it out.


16 posted on 04/11/2012 8:21:37 PM PDT by MetaThought
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To: neverdem

Teach them to be self-sufficient. Teach history to them. Teach them well.


17 posted on 04/11/2012 8:22:04 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the planet.)
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To: neverdem; SunkenCiv; Tax-chick; little jeremiah; wagglebee; Alamo-Girl
I need some time to write a piece loosely based up Jesus's observation that "The fields are ready for harvest."

Enough of the younger generation have had their lives badly hurt by the nihilistic libertine philosophy of the 60s hippies who have usurped the institutions (see Gramsci) of this country; and they are ready for something different.

But all they know of conservatives is the sneering condescension toward them, which they have learned from Maher and Jon Stewart.

We need to make inroads into their ranks: starting with fiscal conservatism --> to self reliance --> to self-control --> to TRUE conservatism.

Does anyone have any suggestions for materials? We must needs act as the 60s Communist moles did, with "consciousness-raising" : but the Communists are evil instead of trusting, and as the Iowa University case showed, they are not shy about political pogroms and/or discrimination against conservatives.

We must steal the masses' affections, despite the brainwashing, and against the cultural effluent.

Please ping others, the time is ripe!

Who is with me?

18 posted on 04/11/2012 8:25:09 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

I’m so old my views are probably worthless but it seems to me that kids these days have no idea what it is like to live free - not have someone constantly looking over their shoulder telling them what to say or think or do, not have someone picking their pockets and so on.


19 posted on 04/11/2012 8:54:44 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
You're right: but they remember that four years ago Mom and Dad both had jobs, and they themselves had good prospects for moving out of the basement...

And the womyn, at least, are beginning to figure out that womyn's liberation was just a lie to let the men get down their pants easier, and that the women now have NO way to say no, and are left holding the bag on pregnancy; since the other goal of the womyn's movement was to devalue men, and men no longer need marriage to get sex, men no longer commit to marriage.

And some of the 35-to-40 year old womyn are coming to the terrible realization that they are getting too long in the tooth to EVER get married to any man who they would have considered as worthy of second glance, back in their young, pretty, hop-into-bed-because-we're-OH-so-liberated, pre-saggy, pre-wrinkly face days...

It remains to be seen if they go self destructive, blame the men, or come to their senses and attack the feminists for having sold them a bill of goods...

Cheers!

20 posted on 04/11/2012 9:14:51 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: neverdem; stevie_d_64; little jeremiah; smokingfrog; hocndoc
Romnoid RiNObot prolefeed:

(Article)
According to research conducted for Resurgent Republic, a conservative policy organization, young voters are no longer enamored with the president because of the current state of the economy. ....

Resurgent Republic is not the only group to have discovered this trend among younger voters. Generation Opportunity, a new, non-partisan [501c(3), no doubt] organization that seeks to organize millennials on [RiNO] economic issues, has also found rising dissatisfaction over Obama’s handling of the economy from previously ardent supporters. Its polling of young Americans across the country shows that 54 percent believe America is heading in the wrong direction. According to Paul Conway, the president of Generation Opportunity, the “number one overwhelming issue [for them], which folks deal with everyday, is the lack of jobs in America.” ....

Independent millennials that are leaning Republican are focused solely on the economy and are not being drawn to the Republican party by social issues. In fact, according to Luke Frans, the millennials in the Resurgent Republic focus groups refused to discuss the Republican party’s social views. In other interviews, millennials have noted that they preferred the Republican party’s leadership on the economy, but could not bring themselves to vote for a Republican out of distaste for current GOP positions on gay marriage and abortion. [Payload paragraph]

The RiNO's want to walk away from social conservatives so badly, they will a) say anything and b) quote Democrats back to us to prove that social conservatives are "wrong".

Given that two RiNO NGO's were involved, one of them a brand-new one that hasn't had its tax-exempt status revoked yet, this is obviously the intellectual platform on which the Romney campaign is going to be run in the general.

Conservatives were right: Romney's back-office guys are telling us the GOP thinks it's time to ditch conservatism, and even American patriotism, altogether for a technocratic, instrumentalist platform.

Someone forgot to tell Ronald Reagan how wrong he was, and he accidentally swept the nation twice. No more mistakes!

21 posted on 04/11/2012 9:19:04 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: grey_whiskers

Sad but true, dear grey_whiskers!


22 posted on 04/11/2012 9:27:42 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: neverdem

You tend to turn right when you start having kids. This has been human nature for uncounted millennia.


23 posted on 04/11/2012 9:29:45 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: neverdem; BillyBoy; Dengar01

I’m on the older end of this generation, 28 and half. I like the term Gen Y better.

As these people notice their smaller paychecks, if they get one at all, they will become less liberal.


24 posted on 04/12/2012 3:17:43 AM PDT by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: BlazingArizona
You tend to turn right when you get a job, then get married and then start having kids.

Currently 41 percent of children are born to single mothers, most of whom are low-income women...

How do you think they're going to vote?

25 posted on 04/12/2012 3:28:26 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: grey_whiskers; Texas Fossil; BenKenobi

I’m with you. I think I’m closer to the millenial gen though — I’m 34 :) as is Ben too! But we are conservatives


26 posted on 04/12/2012 5:35:13 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos

Have you by a few years. Turned 64 last December.

Never was a part of the boomer generation (except by age). Grew up in a time warp in the middle of the “Big Nothing” in TX.


27 posted on 04/12/2012 6:29:13 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Texas Fossil
good, so we're both rebels against our generations :-P

All of us need to stay strong this year, especially -- Obama OUT!

28 posted on 04/12/2012 6:31:03 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos

And forgot to mention, first voted when Richard Nixon was candidate for President. Have always been Republican, long before it was “acceptable” and certainly before it was “fashionable’ to be GOP in TX.


29 posted on 04/12/2012 6:31:07 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Cronos
good, so we're both rebels against our generations

Not a rebel, but refused to take part. But I would like to remind you that Texas was fiscally conservative, even when it was 100% Dem country. None of the fiscal conservatives are left in the Dem Party now. Dem Party = Communist now.

30 posted on 04/12/2012 6:35:10 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Carl LaFong

This millenial is very conservative, believes the Constitution means exactly what it says, and despises the statists in government of all sizes. I’m just one voter, but I’m at least as conservative and constitutionalist as my father, and more so than some right here on FR.


31 posted on 04/12/2012 9:57:49 AM PDT by jkeith3213
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