The millennials, (also referred to as Generation Y) are the group of Americans born between 1980 and 1998. They are a group that has been the intense subject of commentary and interest from consumer markets, the media, the internet, academics, journalists, psychologists and pretty much everyone else. Now, even political pollsters have joined in the ongoing critique of this age demographic.
A recent Reason-Rupe Survey of 2,000 millennials titled “Millennials, The Politically Unclaimed Generation” found that the majority of young people in this group lean democratic or left of center in their political ideology. In fact, the majority of them are more enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential candidacy than they were about President Obama’s. This means that there is considerable support for her candidacy among this group.
Other significant findings in this survey poll were:
· 53% would be receptive to nontraditional candidates
· 60% would be more inclined to support liberal candidates
· 62% identify as socially liberal
· 57% believe that marijuana should be legal, yet only 22% feel that cocaine should be legal
· Among lower income millennials, 53% favor income distribution of wealth
· 66% say that raising taxes on the wealthy would help the economy
· 74% want the government to provide food and housing to all Americans
Other findings in the poll indicated that millennials across the political spectrum were more inclined to support gay marriage and interracial marriage, advocate conflict resolution as a productive means to solve problems, are ethnically and racially diverse, were likely to harbor libertarian positions on several issues and believed that, while government can be somewhat excessive and intrusive, it can still perform a useful function for society.
They are also troubled by the ever-growing deficit and believe that a social safety net is crucial for the moral and economic well-being of society. When asked to select from more than a dozen candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties, Hillary Clinton reigned supreme with 53% followed by Vice President Joe Biden at 30%. The leading Republicans were Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, who tied at 17%.
When the question of who they would choose for Commander-in-Chief was posed to them, Clinton was the runaway choice with 39%. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren came in second with 9%, Joe Biden at 7%, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul tied again at 6%, and former Arkansas governor and current FOX News talk show host Mike Huckabee rounded out the poll at 5%.
Given their large numbers, more than 70 million, and distinctive demographic composition, such numbers should be ominously alarming for the GOP. The Republican Party has considerable work to do. The question is will they take heed.