Jan 19, 2019 - Politics

How Gen Z could change the GOP

Data: Pew Research Center; Note: Survey of U.S. adults aged 18+ conducted Sept. 24–Oct. 7, 2018. Teens aged 13–17 conducted Sept. 17–Nov. 25, 2018; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Generation Z is following in Millennials footprints in many ways, but the 13 to 21-year-old Republicans of today could force the GOP to move to the left on some issues if they keep the same views as they get older.

Why it matters: A suspicion of big government has been a defining theme of the Republican Party for decades, but a Pew Research Center survey found that more than half of the next generation of Republicans is open to using government action to solve problems. They're also the most likely generation to embrace racial diversity.

By the numbers:

  • Gen Z is the only generation in which a majority of self-identified Republicans says government should be more active in solving problems.
  • More than half of Gen Z Republicans said increased racial and ethnic diversity is good for society. That's a theme that the current GOP has struggled with, but a more diverse party will be critical to its survival, as almost half of the post-Millennial generation is non-white.
  • 38% said they believe climate change is caused by human activity, compared to less than a third of Millennial Republicans.
  • 43% said that African-Americans are treated less fairly than whites in the U.S., a jump of 13 percentage points from the previous generation.
  • Yet 60% still approved of Trump's job as president.

The big picture: Most of Generation Z isn't even old enough to vote, and their political views could change as they get older. But this generation has already been marked by significant political activism.

  • The Parkland high school students launched an influential gun control campaign.
  • Six teens ran for governor in Kansas.
  • There were efforts to lower the voting age to 16 in D.C. last year.
  • And young voter turnout in the midterms surged in many states.

The bottom line: Maybe the era of big government isn't over after all.

What's next

America's ideological balance continues to lean center-right

Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Despite 47% of Americans identifying with the Democratic Party in 2019, the ideological balance of U.S. voters remains center-right, according to a survey of 29,000 U.S. adults released by Gallup Thursday.

Why it matters: Ideology and party identification both play a role in election variability, Gallup points out. Without ideology, the prevalence of voters identifying as Democrats would likely lead to electoral dominance. Without partisanship, a center-right candidate would consistently prevail.

2024 lookahead poll: GOP voters eye Trump dynasty

Ready to skip 2020 and go straight to 2024? In a SurveyMonkey poll for Axios, Republican voters chose children of President Trump — Don Jr. and Ivanka — as two of the top four picks for president in four years.

  • Why it matters: An early poll like this is largely a measure of name ID. But it's also a vivid illustration of just how strong Trump's brand is with the GOP.

Why 50+ women care about 2020

A new AARP survey by the Harris Poll examined what's driving women 50 and older ahead of next year's elections and found health care on top. The survey also found that older women’s concerns about Trump are eroding, but not upending, his support with Republicans and independents.

Why it matters: As the House of Representatives prepares to impeach the president, the priorities for this group of high-propensity voters are closer to home and different from what their male counterparts care most about.

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