Polling News

Millennials Keep Trend Toward Conservatism

June 08, 2023

Recent polling and exit survey analysis by The New York Times shows that, in keeping with longtime political wisdom, younger voters are trending Republican as they age.

Why It Matters: Democratic pundits and strategists have long claimed that millennial voters would provide their party with a lasting majority, but that doesn’t appear likely for as this group ages, they are getting more conservative.

This new analysis comes by tracking the same cohort of millennial voters that propelled Barack Obama into office in 2008, as they age. Tracking that cohort of millennial voters produces a clear picture unmarred by the additions to the data set.

 

By The Numbers:

  • In 2020, voters who were 18 to 29 in 2008 voted a net positive 12 points for Biden 55%-43%; roughly half the margin they swung for Obama 12 years earlier.
  • In 2022 the same cohort of voters preferred Democratic congressional candidates by only 10 points in Times/Siena polling.

 

Behind the Numbers: The trend holds beyond millennials as well. The last decade has seen almost every cohort of voters under 50 shift toward the GOP. The voters who voted for the first time in 2004 and 2008 were driven by a number of issues that are not at the forefront of the conversation anymore, particularly the Iraq war and same-sex marriage. 

The Bottom Line: While the trend among Obama millennials is promising, younger voters who came of age during the Trump-era are trending conservative at a slower rate than their older peers. These voters came of age during COVID-19, Black Lives Matter protests, and cultural fights, all while inflation sky-rocketed, the housing market weakened, the labor force shrank, and America’s position on the world stage has diminished. If the GOP hopes to move these voters in their camp, they need to remind them Republicans have plans to fix kitchen table issues, keep communities safe and make America a force for good in the world. 

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