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Young Voters Are Getting Steadily More Progressive

Turnout among young voters was unexpectedly high in 2018, largely due to young people opposing Donald Trump. In 2020, it stayed high, resulting in Trump's defeat. In 2022, it was still high, blocking the expected "red wave." Many Republicans are worried that this may become a new feature of American elections and is likely to turn out very badly for the GOP.

Worse yet is that on numerous key issues, young voters are getting more progressive by the year. Here is a graph of results from the Harvard Youth Poll relating to gun laws, climate change, same sex relationships, and food and shelter as a legal right. The graph is shown so that the higher the number, the more people take the progressive position on the issue:

Results of Harvard Youth Poll on four key issues

As you can see, voters from 18 to 29 are clearly shifting in a progressive direction. If they are also voting in larger numbers since 2018, this is a double whammy for the Republicans. Among other things, 53% reject the idea that same-sex relationships are morally wrong, 63% want stricter gun laws, and 62% want government to provide basic necessities. This is Andrew Yang's moment, but he is nowhere to be found. Only the need for action on climate has dropped a bit in the past 3 years, but is still way up from where it was in 2010. The dip could be a result of the specific wording, which asked if respondents wanted action on climate even at the expense of economic growth. Not on the graph is the small matter of abortion. In 2010, 54% wanted it legal in all cases; now that is 69%.

By the 2036 election, zoomers will represent 35% of the eligible voters. Unless the Republicans change their policies by then, they will become a minority party with almost no chance of winning national elections and little chance of winning statewide elections except in the reddest of states. However, young voters are less enthusiastic about Joe Biden than they were about Barack Obama. Of course, Biden is not a young, charismatic, dynamic candidate. If the Democrats nominate Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) in 2028 the Republicans are going to have a California-size problem. (Z)

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