They’ve been called lazy, self-obsessed narcissists, and also idealistic liberals, but no one has accused them of being conservative.
They’re called millennials, and they may mean the end of the Republican Party in California, which isn’t good news for the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
New voter registration data shows the number of people identifying as Republican has dropped significantly as the millennial generation has come of age.
These millennial, skinny-jean-wearing latte drinkers have increasingly shown themselves to be non-partisan, or at least liberal, but never Republican, Eric McGhee, an elections researcher at the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California told the Los Angeles Times.
“New, young registrants are heavily independent and to a lesser extent Democratic, while elderly people are much more likely to be Republican. Since people tend to stick with their party registration even if their politics change, this means we should expect these registration trends to continue.”
Even traditional Republican strongholds in California have seen a decline in conservative voter registration.
Kern County, the home of the state’s oil industry and ground zero for the fracking debate, is traditionally staunch Republican, but now that party can only boast 3 percent more voters than their Democrat counterparts, reports Bakersfield Now.
“What we’re seeing across the board in this country is a rise of independents in general.”
Santa Clarita, the wealthy mostly white suburb of Los Angeles, is also seeing a political shift away from its conservative roots as the town grows in size and its population shifts demographics. Once the home of affluent retirees, the town now boasts a growing number of younger families who are struggling to support themselves in the changing economy, reports KPCC.
“You can work at Foster’s Freeze or you can work at the bowling alley, but that’s obviously not enough to survive on.”
Today, Republicans represent only 28 percent of registered voters in California, while the non-affiliated Independent vote has grown to 24 percent, Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, told the SFGate.
“The bigger picture to consider is the electorate in California is becoming less partisan as politics are becoming more partisan.”
This demographic shift in the large state of California signals bad news for the Republican Party; it certainly makes a Donald Trump presidential victory much more difficult.
Statewide, the Republican Party has had difficulty getting its members elected to office in recent years as the millennial generation has come of age, Mike Madrid, a Republican political strategist, told the Los Angeles Times.
“More Californians are consciously saying no party represents my views, but are saying if they have to choose, then they’ll choose Democrats.”
As Donald Trump looks poised to assume the mantle of the Republican presidential nominee, his party is increasingly concerned with his lack of support among millennials who describe him as divisive.
Many of these younger voters shy away from Trump because they feel he lacks substance, and that may hurt him in the general election.
The deadline to register to vote in the California primary is May 23; anyone needing registration information can visit the Registrar of Voters.
Where do you stand? Do you think the country’s political parties still appeal to young voters?
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