by Gerry Scimeca
With all eyes this election season monitoring the pulse of younger voters, a new paper unearths data indicating that millennial voters are actually trending more conservative than previous generations, CNN is reporting. Millennials include those born between 1980 and 2000.
While the baby-boom generation will be the largest demographic voting in the 2016 election, the political leanings of Millennials is especially important given that this generation has now surpassed baby-boomers as the largest living generation as well the largest generation eligible to vote.
The study found that Millennials are more likely to identify as conservative than either Generation Xers or Baby-Boomers were at the same age, said Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and lead author of the paper.
The study also reported that 59% of millennials eligible to vote consider themselves politically independent, not aligning with either major party, another figure that outpaces previous generations at that age.
Offering one explanation is author and President of Millennial Solution, a consulting firm that specializes in Millennial engagement and marketing, Gabrielle Jackson Bosche, who told The Lead, “America’s twenty and young thirty something overwhelmingly support freer market and less government because we graduated into a recession where opportunity was hard to come by.”
The paper surprised many who assumed that the 2 to 1 victory Obama won in 2008 with younger voters would lead to a permanent and loyal Democrat majority with Millennials. If current the three studies that comprised this most recent paper on Millennial voting trends holds, Millennials may end up as a reliable, yet independent, voting bloc for more conservative candidates.