web statsweb stats Republicans and Generation Z: Like oil and water - Elections & Politics

Republicans and Generation Z: Like oil and water

By Lee Cleveland - July 21, 2023

Generation Z is the cohort of people born between the mid-1990s and 2012, succeeding Millennials. Hence, they are roughly between 11 and 30 and have grown up in a world that is highly connected and globalized, with access to a vast array of information.

GenZ is often known for its knowledge of technology, strong understanding of current affairs, and willingness to embrace diversity. And it’s believed this generation has the potential to shape the future of technology and social media, as well as lead the way in cultural and social change.

Enter Republicans. More specifically, MAGA Republicans.

It’s safe to say that Gen Z and today’s Republicans, especially of the MAGA variety, are like oil and water. Hence, there’s one helluva clash.

Gen Z voters are strongly gravitating toward Democrats when it comes to matters like firearm regulation, abortion rights, social justice, environmental protection, and sexual orientation acceptance.

And that’s creating a major issue for the Republican Party as it’s gone backward since the days of Reagan and the Bushes and classic conservatism.

A Pew Research study dated late last year indicated that 77% of Generation Z voters supported Democratic candidates for Congress, compared to the 21% that opted for Republicans.

“For a young person to seriously consider voting for you, there’s a list of issues that need to be recognized. Climate [Change] was one of them for a long time, accessibility of health care, and now serious proposals to reduce gun violence,” said John Della Volpe, the director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics, via The Hill.

Fact: According to a Pew Research poll released in 2021, 49 percent of Generation Z and 48 percent of Millennial Republicans said action to reduce the effects of climate change needs to be prioritized.

“Republicans don’t have a messaging problem with younger voters, they have a values problem with younger voters,” Della Volpe said. “The problem is their values and vision are misaligned and the messengers are not trustworthy currently.”

And while Gen Zers tend to align with Democratic values, they are generally not wed to a particular political party. They prefer not to be tied down and instead, stay open to different ideologies.

“Democrats have been winning somewhere between 60 and 75 percent of the youth vote,” Della Volpe said. “It’s not because of some undying love or connection to the Democratic Party. It’s because the values of the Democratic Party today are more aligned with the values of younger people today, so they choose Democrats over Republicans.”

Times change and parties change. Look at what’s happened to the Republican Party in just the last 10 years.

The MAGA movement has brought about a new brand of Republican politics that is more focused on personality and nationalism, rather than adherence to traditional conservative principles such as limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free market capitalism.

Moreover, MAGA Republicans tend to view social justice and identity politics as a threat to traditional American values and push back against progressive policies or rhetoric, while old-school Republicans were more willing to engage in constructive dialogue and compromise.

Opinion: It’s not necessarily Republicans who today’s youth have the biggest problem with, it’s MAGA.

Young people usually represent the most liberal age demographic but the split has never been quite like this. So while some of those Gen Z’ers will naturally grow conservative as they get older, expect this group to heavily lean left for quite some time to come.


Tags: Elections 2024, MAGA, youth