Report finds wishy washy political views among millennials
- A new report reveals that millennials ages 18 to 29 have only a vague understanding of which policies they support, or even whether they support them at all.
A new report reveals that millennials ages 18 to 29 have only a vague understanding of which policies they support, or even whether they support them at all.
“Growing Up GOP: Fresh Ideas From the Fresh Faces of the Republican Party,” produced by the College Republican National Committee in collaboration with the Republican State Leadership Committee and The New Republican, presents the findings of a survey of millennials’ priority issues and values going into the 2016 presidential election, but the results seem to raise as many questions as they answer.
The report discloses that millennials are widely inconsistent with their beliefs, and often have conflicting opinions with respect to the qualities they find attractive in a presidential candidate.
Exactly half of the millennials surveyed said they want a presidential candidate who promotes clean energy, but in focus groups, “addressing climate change” ranked last among the issues respondents most want political parties to emphasize.
Similarly, while 48 percent of respondents rated pay equality as an important issue, only 22 percent said it is important that a candidate support feminism.
The focus group data also reveal that millennials are most interested in a political party that supports “aggressive action to ensure racial and gender equality” and “giving students new ways to pay for college.”
When asked about the most significant qualities in a candidate, millennials value being kind to “all different walks of life” and public speaking skills over candidates who focus on “making things happen” and hard work.
Millennials aren’t just ambiguous in their stances on specific issues, though. For instance, 49 percent of millennials polled report that “luck, not hard work, is how the wealthy get ahead in America” but almost as many (45 percent) believe “hard work is what gets you ahead in America these days.”
An ideological gap appears to be the root of this particular issue. Whereas 64 percent of “conservative” and 73 percent of “very conservative” millennials believe hard work is the key factor in success, the numbers drop drastically among liberal young adults, with 34 percent of self-identified “liberals” and just 23 percent of “very liberal” millennials saying they do not believe in the value of hard work.
While millennials do share similar core conservative values like a strong desire for freedom and individual rights, the report suggests that poor messaging on these issues has artificially dampened millennial support for conservative proposals.
“An agenda to reach young Americans absolutely must include answers and ideas that apply Republican principles to tackling these core challenges,” the report states.
“We’re the party that understands Washington can’t run your life better than you can run your life. So why don’t more millennials vote Republican?” CRNC Chair Alexandra Smith asks in the report.
“Simple,” she answers herself: “the Grand Old Party has gotten stale. There’s too much old and not enough grand in the way we express our party’s value to next generation voters.”
(H/t: The Daily Signal)
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