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Monday, August 14, 2023

Young Voters

Michael Baharaeen at The Liberal Patriot:
Another front on which these cultural shifts occur is age—and this factor has offered a clear advantage to one of the two parties in recent years. To wit: the youth vote remains stubbornly Democratic at the moment. While it has historically been common for people to grow more conservative as they age, this just doesn’t appear to be happening with millennials.

The Financial Times’s John Burn-Murdoch brilliantly documented how compared to the previous three generations—all of whom voted more Republican the further they got into life—millennials have been trending in the opposite direction so far...

This was especially visible in the 2022 midterms, when Gen Z and millennial voters were the lone generation to vote more Democratic in the national U.S. House vote relative to the 2020 election. Moreover, according to the General Social Survey, young people have voted more Democratic in the last four presidential elections—compared to both other age brackets and their own cohort’s past performance—than at any other time in the past half century.

Among the theories for why younger voters are staying liberal into adulthood is that these voters have also adopted other traits that differ from previous generations—traits that have made them more predisposed to voting Democratic. For example, younger Americans are a less religious cohort. Many are getting married later in life and also forgoing having children. Young people are also growing up in a much more tolerant and diverse society than many of their parents did.

Additionally, there is some evidence that the political events that happened during their formative years—the War on Terror, the 2008 financial crisis, the rise of Donald Trump, increased gun violence, climate change—likely left an imprint on them that will not soon be shaken. Political scientists affiliated with the Democratic data firm Catalist have used sophisticated statistical modeling to track differences by age group over time.