Friday, May 19, 2017

New Study: The Young Are Leaving the GOP in Droves

Just as the younger generations are fleeing organized Christianity, so too are they leaving the Republican Party in large numbers.  That's the conclusion of a new study by the Pew Research Center.  One driving force behind this trend is Der Trumpenführer himself who remains exceedingly unpopular. While not specifically addressed, the GOP's self-prostitution to fundamentalist/evangelical Christians - a group not popular with the under 30 generation - could well be another significant motivating factor.  A piece in Salon looks at the study findings:

It’s bleak out there for Democrats and progressives, yet the future of the GOP may be more precarious than it appears.
According to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center, 23 percent of Republican voters ages 18-29 have switched parties since 2015, against just 9 percent of Democratic voters in the same age range. As many as half of Republicans 30 and under have abandoned the party at one point or another during that time.
Meanwhile, FiveThirtyEight finds that Trump’s approval rating has sunk to 39.7 percent, its lowest since he assumed office—and that figure doesn’t account for the latest Comey memo revelations. The danger for Republicans is real, writes the Washington Post’s Philip Bump:
Studies have shown that partisan identity is formed early on, with partisanship tending to correlate to the popularity of the president in office. As FiveThirtyEight noted in 2014, the most fervent Republican voters are those who were 18 at the outset of the Eisenhower and Reagan presidencies; the most Democratic were those who turned 18 as George W. Bush was mired in the Iraq War.
Whether the Democrats are capable of harnessing that unrest is another question entirely.
 Here are some of the specific findings:
Those who switched parties were less politically engaged than people who stayed with their parties. And among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, young people were far more likely than older adults to leave the GOP.
Only about half (53%) of those under 30 who initially identified as Republicans or leaned Republican consistently remained with the party over four subsequent surveys. Among older Republicans, 80% or more consistently identified as Republicans or leaned Republican.
Those who left the Republican Party, by contrast, expressed sharply negative views of Trump: 84% disapproved (57% strongly).
Democrats who stayed with their party – or left and returned – overwhelmingly disapproved of Trump’s job performance. 
One can only hope that the defections by younger voters accelerate  while the aging GOP literally dies off. 

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