Devoted readers of this column (all five of you) will know I have long held the belief it will be women and kids who will save this country. A Pew Research Center poll prior to the 2018 midterm elections shows Democrats had better have the right answers and policies to do so, because they are likely to have a strong majority for the next couple of generations.
Of course, the gender and age gaps are not the only factors defining the overall voting population. Education, race, ethnicity and religion also influence the electorate, but gender and age appear to be determining features even in those categories.
Women have long skewed toward the Democratic Party. According to Pew in 2018, 56 percent of women identify or lean Democratic versus 37 percent who lean or identify Republican. That’s up more than 4 percent just since 2015. Gee, I wonder what might account for that?
When polling millennials, the percentage of female support for Democrats increases to 70 percent, up from just 56 percent only four years ago. Overall, millennials identify or lean Democratic by 59 percent, compared to 32 percent for Republicans. That number gets even more lopsided when members of Generation Z are polled.
Fully 70 percent of those born in 1995 or later, including those just entering adulthood and the voting population, support Democratic policies and positions. I couldn’t find a breakdown on their gender gap, but, if it is in line with those who have been polled, female Gen Z’ers’ support for Dems must be in the 80-percent range.
It has long been conventional wisdom that people’s political views tend to grow more conservative as they age. Research into social-demographic trends does not bear this out.
According to Kim Parker of Pew, “The differences we see across age groups have more to do with the unique historical circumstances in which they come of age.” She noted “demographers have not seen a generational pattern of growing more conservative or more Republican over time.”
Much of this recent swing can be attributed to the hate and invective that are so much a core element of the current president’s demeanor and governance. But, it is deeper than that.
Dan Levin, in The New York Times, states, “The Republican Party has lost younger Americans as it has moved farther to the right on issues like immigration, gun control and climate change.”
This happened in the 1930s, ushering in the most prosperous half-century in history. It’s time for it to happen again.
— White, a retired fire services chief in South Florida, lives in Orange City. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.