Skip to comments.Millennials Turn Rightward?
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
I remember a poll from a couple of years ago saying that a small majority of young voters thought abortion was wrong, IIRC.
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.
Don’t worry, people can be remarkably resistant to their parents’(or schools’) brainwashing.
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.
Come on in, Millenials! The water’s fine!
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.
My two millennials were raised tight and are of the right.
That’s raised “right” of course.
I don’t mind let 18 year olds drink, but I wish to hell we wouldn’t let them vote.
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.
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.
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.
As we saw in 2008 right?
If they are not enthusiastic about Obama, they’ll just stay home.
Well, eventually they figure it out.
Teach them to be self-sufficient. Teach history to them. Teach them well.
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?
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.
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...