Tag Archives: political

Millennial Parenting and Political Attitudes

Yesterday, I discussed the political party identification and job approval of the President in relation to millennials. Today, the research turns to how millennials view ‘hot topics’ of today’s political environment.

On the whole, millennials pretty much fall in line with other generations on the attitude of businesses, that businesses make fair profits and are not powerful, and millennials are actually more likely to agree that business corporations generally strike a fair balance between making profits and serving the public interest.

Millennials are also less skeptical than older generations about government effectiveness and are more likely to agree that the government should held more needy people even if it means a rising national debt, but even then, support is not strong, and has in fact declined over the past two years.

In national security, millennials are much less likely to support an assertive national security policy, with most millennials not supporting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are least likely to agree that the best way to ensure peace is through military strength.

As mentioned in the family values section, millennials are also much more likely to support affirmative action, even though a majority does not support. Millennials are also the most likely to agree that ‘it’s all right for blacks and whites to date each other’, with nearly 93% support.

Unfortunately, Pew did not do much research on health-care, social security, or other generational topics, so it’s difficult to see how millennials might affect these issues in the years to come.

Millennials are somewhat stuck in a middle ground right now. They came out of the 2008 election season fervent on an Obama administration and positive attitudes about government. But recently, that tide has turned. However, our views on many political topics have not.

I’m most interested to see how these changes in political identification, but not necessarily political values will affect party politics in this country. As many know, I left the Republican Party around the time of the 2008 election. But as more millennials shift their identification to the GOP, yet haven’t changed their socially liberal views on a number of topics, I have to wonder if the influx of younger millennials into the GOP with socially liberal or libertarian attitudes will change the culture of the Republican Party. Or, will millennials abandon both parties for a change of pace, perhaps a libertarian candidate?

How will this affect parenting? I imagine it won’t be unlike how millennial family values will shape families. If millennials speak about these values in their households, we may very well see attitudes shift significantly as our children grow.

But, both Boomers and Gen X were about the same in identifying as liberal during this time of their lives, and Boomers, at least, tend to be more conservative now. We live in a country where political attitudes change as often as the weather, and it doesn’t appear that millennials are really immune from this. But it will be interesting to see how, if millennials remain solidly liberal on many political issues, this will affect party politics in our country, especially as millennials become a more solid voting block.

Tomorrow begins the final chapter in this series, and will shift the subject to millennials and religion.

Advertisements

Millennnial Parenting & Political Party Identification

It’s not unknown that millennials had a big stake in the 2008 presidential election. They overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama (66%), which was the largest disparity between younger and older votes in four decades of modern exit polling.

Millennials also showed up to the polls, creating the smallest turnout gap between younger and older voters since 1972. Leading up to the 2008 election, millennials were solidly in the Democratic Party’s camp, and by the time the election rolled around, 62% of millennials were affiliated Democrats.

Since Obama’s election, that gap has shrunk, with only 54% of millennials identifying as Democrats and 40% as Republicans. As with older voters, Obama’s job approval has also drastically declined, from 73% at the time of the inauguration to 57% now. Perhaps due to Obama’s promised ‘change’ in Washington fledgling a year into his administration. Only 46% of millennials believe that Washington has changed since Obama took office.

Examining the Pew results, millennials have become critical in Obama’s handling of several issues, most notably the war in Afghanistan, with millennials the only age group that disapproved more than approved Obama’s handling of the war.

These results aren’t terribly surprising, even historically. Both the Boomers and Silent Generation, when the age of today’s millennials, leaned Democratic, a phenomenon that is not uncommon in political science; that the populace tends to become more conservative or Republican as they advance in age.

But what, if any, effects will this have on parenting? Millennials are largely the children of Baby Boomers. Yet Millennials are much more Democratic-leaning than their parents. A lot of this could have to do with education, as college campuses tend to be a much more liberal environment, and with millennials attending college at record paces, it would only make sense that spending the most formative years of your life in a liberal atmosphere would, in turn, make you more liberal or Democratic-leaning.

But already, we are starting to see a shift in party identification, showing that millennials are not immune to overall public opinion. Their approval of Obama and identification as Democrat is following a very similar curve to their generational predecessors. For millennials, 2008 was the first time the majority of us were old enough to vote, and Obama, even though his job approval has fallen considerably among millennials, his personal appeal has not. Obama, a younger man, an African-American, with his platform of Hope and Change captured the minds of many a millennial, and what we are seeing now could just be the natural disillusionment that comes with the presidency.

However, much of what the results show for party identification and Obama’s approval among millennials has not affected political values. Tomorrow I will discuss the final results of the Politics & Idealogy section and how those results may change party politics as we know it.