Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Millennials Aren't More Democratic—They're Just Less Republican

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Reason-Rupe has a new survey and report out on millennials—find the report here

In 2012 millennials voted for President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney 60 to 36 percent, but thelatest Reason-Rupe study of millennials finds they are not overwhelmingly Democratic. In fact, they are no more Democratic than older Americans; instead they are more independent and less Republican.

Remarkably, given recent voting trends, millennials are slightly less likely (43%) to identify as Democratic than Americans over 30 (49%). Only 23 percent of millennials identify as Republican, half as likely as Americans 30 and up (40%).

Instead, millennials are three times as likely (34%) as older Americans (11%) to identify as independent.

In other words, millennials are distinctive because they are less Republican and more independent.  (They really don't like either political party)

White and Asian American millennials have similar partisan profiles, with about a third identifying as Republicans, a third as Democrats, and a third as independents. Nearly half of Hispanic millennials identify as Democratic, four in 10 as independent and 12 percent as Republican. Nearly 60 percent of African-American millennials identify as Democratic, a third as independent, and 11 percent as Republican.

Millennials' life experiences also correlate with their partisanship. The longer millennials are in school, the less politically independent and the more Democratic they become. Among millennials with high school diplomas, 43 percent identify as independent and 38 percent as Democratic. Among college graduates this flips, and 51 percent identify as Democratic and only 23 percent as independent. Among those who have pursued post-graduate degrees, 59 percent identify as Democratic and 15 percent as independent.

Interestingly, Republican identification does not vary substantially with education, but it does as millennials get married and buy a home.

Among unmarried millennials who don't own homes, 21 percent identify as Republican, compared to 34 percent of those who are married and do own homes. While Democratic identification doesn't substantially vary across homeownership and marital status, independent identification declines from 35 percent among unmarried non-homeowners to 22 percent among married homeowners.

It is not clear whether added responsibilities such as marriage and homeownership increase the likelihood that millennials will become Republican or whether Republican millennials are more likely to buy homes and get married younger.

Download the PDF

To learn more about millennials, check out Reason-Rupe's new report.

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  1. Christ on a pony.

    1. I thought it was a donkey?

      1. They’ve been lying to us for MILLENIALS, R.

        1. I see what you did there…

  2. Seriously. It is bad enough when half a dozen posts on a a single Reason poll trashes an afternoon. But there is no reason for this to propagate into the next week.

  3. But how many Millenials can correctly identify the meaning of the word “Socialism”? Why doesn’t someone poll that??

  4. Confucius say, “put lipstick on pig, it not turn into Megan Fox.”

    These youths aren’t going to support the freedom philosophy until hard reality leaves them no other options. And then they *still* might blame the capitalists.

    1. “These youths aren’t going to support the freedom philosophy”

      Yes, it is not like Ron Paul or Robert Sarvis got higher shares of young voters than other age groups or anything.

      1. Higher percentages maybe. It was impressive how many younger voters Ron Paul was pulling, but I still think Obama received a higher number.

    2. These youths aren’t going to support the freedom philosophy until hard reality leaves them no other options.

      That’s how it happened to me. A lot (most?) kids grow up liberal by default.

    3. Yeah, it doesn’t matter how they “identify,” the whining little shits will vote socialist, until they get told they’ll have to pay for it.

  5. What is up with all the hate regarding Reason’s reporting of its Millennial Poll report?

    Some of it seems like ‘get off my lawn, kids today’ distaste for ‘them young folk.’ And a large subset of that is certainly connected to ‘them young folk they just vote for the Democrats!’ mindsets (just take a look at the posters expressing their disgust here so far, they tilt a bit GOP is all I’m saying). I think a lot of the upset can be explained by the headline to this post: Millennials just are not into the GOP, and that of course upsets some of our regulars here.

    Millennials played a big part in several libertarian candidacies (Ron Paul, Sarvis, etc). They seem more receptive to libertarians and libertarian ideas than some other cohorts, and, without sounding too much like Whitney Houston, they are kind of the future of American politics and culture. So it seems imminently reasonable that the Reason Foundation would explore this and that Reason would heavily report their findings. You fellows need to get over it.

    1. Maybe some think it is just getting a bit tiresome?

      1. This from the guy who posted a dozen comments on one thread today essentially repeating “hello Weigel!”?

      2. This from the guy who posted a dozen comments on one thread today essentially repeating “hello Weigel!”?

        1. Yes! Get it?

    2. I think it has more to do with the fact that this is the 537th post about it.

      But I actually find it very interesting. I plan on trying to get more involved in the local libertarian group when I move back Stateside, maybe even get involved in a campaign if the right candidate comes along. The reports here actually make me kind of hopeful.

      1. As a millenial active in one I can bet you confidently you’ll see quite a few of us there, working our tails off for liberty minded candidates and issues.

        1. Where (geographically?) are you active, if you don’t mind me asking?

    3. All of it is ‘Get off my lawn’ crap.

    4. Because it has the same relation to reality as Baghdad Bob?

      Look, it’s not like it’s the yutes are responsible for their crappy education. But the fact of the matter is, they become more libertarian as a result of repudiating these values, not by confirming them. Patronizing them by calling them “independent” and “libertarian leaning” is just not accurate.

      Also, it’s the 283rd post on the subject so I think some of us are just being assholes because we can.

    5. I would say that Ron Paul ran for the Republican party and I think that the libertarian minded candidates are carving more youths out of the Republican party than the Democratic one, which is fine but you seem to be ignoring that are peers are voting by and large for anti-liberty policies see campus rape, #war on women and others.

    6. Maybe it’s because it is the “Millenials” and others that refuse to grow up, that keep libertarianism going.
      Once the real world hits you in the face, it is hard to ascribe to what the Pauls advocate – see WW2.

    7. It’s always funny like this. People comment here mostly to express their own opinions, but they don’t seem to like reporting on other people’s. I’m very interested in poll results & analysis of them.

  6. In other words, millennials are distinctive because they are less Republican and more independent.

    They have been reliable Dem voters the last two elections, and put Barack Obama back in the White House.

    Talk is cheap. Votes may be cheap, too, but not as cheap as talk. Revealed preference trumps stated preference every single time.

    I hope and pray that rising generations are more libertarian, but all I see, honestly, isn’t predominantly libertarians. Its libertines. The issues they agree with us on are certainly not economic ones, and not even broadly based political principles.

    They share libertarian views mostly to the extent it allows them to party with the substance and sex partner of their choice. That makes them libertines.

    1. It is possible that voting Dem is more a consequence of the two party system and, as the poll says, their dislike of the Repubs.

      1. Revealed preferences are revealed. They could sit out, they could vote third party, but they prefer, by and large, voting Dem to either of these two options.

        Anyone who claims to be pro-freedom and votes Dem is, at best, a useful idiot.

  7. “Don’t believe how they actually vote, believe our dubious poll.”

    Whatever.

  8. Answering “independent” on a survey like this just feeds into one’s self image as a free thinker. A decent chunk of the indepedents in any such poll are reliably partisan voters.

    http://cookpolitical.com/story/6608

    So yeah, millennials pretty much are more Democratic.

    1. Very true, my fiancee labels her self as an independent but she has never not voted democrat, which unfortunately, is kind of what matters. There is a lot of talk about how this country is purple, and that most American’s have their own views that vary from party lines, but because of how our political system is set up, that doesn’t really matter. Unless you really do vote for a variety of democrats, republicans or other party, you really aren’t an independent where it counts.

  9. The generation that voted for JFK was supposed to be Dem forever. They voted for Reagan.

  10. Maybe if Republicans weren’t portrayed, in the media, similarly to how the Nazis portrayed Jews in the 1930s, every level of low-info voter wouldn’t recoil at the mention of the word.

  11. “Millennials Aren’t More Democratic — They Just Vote That Way.”


  12. Study finds ZERO conservative books, many liberal ones, on freshmen reading lists

    Young America’s Foundation has surveyed the required reading programs for incoming college freshmen nationwide and found that, over the past three years, none of the colleges have assigned a conservative-leaning book.

    None of them.

    “Young America’s Foundation believes young people should be exposed to a true liberal education-one that includes both liberal and conservative ideas, but there appears to be no balance in these readings that are required by colleges and universities,” YAF states. “From the moment students enroll in college through graduation day, they are exposed to liberal themes-and few, if any, will read a conservative book or heard from a conservative professor.”

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