The millennials, (also referred to as Generation Y) are the group of Americans born between 1980-1998. 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 few weeks ago, a recent Reason-Rupe Survey of 2,000 millennials entitled "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 non-traditional candidates
60% would be more inclined to support liberal candidates stated that their level of stress
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 lavishly ethnically and racially diverse, were likely to harbor libertarian positions on several issues and believed that while government can be some what excessive and intrusive, can still perform a useful function for society.
They are also troubled by the ever growing deficit, believe that a social safety net was 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 party, 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, 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.