5 Ways Millennials Could Vote GOP
Life + Money

5 Ways Millennials Could Vote GOP


The College Republican National Committee on Monday released an exhaustive 95-page report about how the GOP can appeal to younger voters.

It contains some key insights for keeping the Republicans relevant to millennials, noting that President Obama won the under-30 crowd by a margin of five million votes, a crushing win that guaranteed his re-election. The report notes that younger voters are not destined to forever be in the Democratic camp.

This deep dive based on surveys conducted earlier this year contains five major insights for the Republican party:

Leave Limbaugh Out of It  – Talking heads like Sean Hannity and Limbaugh have pumped up the GOP base. But just 21 percent of registered voters ages 18-29 listen to “political talk radio” at least once a week.

Many prefer to use streaming music services such as Pandora. One respondent noted that it was unlikely that a Jay-Z channel would have an ad for Mitt Romney.

Temper the Negativity – Neither party has a monopoly on the descriptor “intelligent.” But Republicans tend to be viewed rather unsympathetically, an indication that the party might need to adopt more of a big tent mentality.

“Asked which words least described the GOP, respondents gravitated toward ‘open-minded’ (35 percent), ‘tolerant’ (25 percent), ‘caring’ (22 percent), and ‘cooperative’ (21 percent).”

Cut Military Spending – One of the surprises emerging from the six focus groups conducted for the report was a desire to slash spending, particularly at the Pentagon.

“In the survey, 35 percent of respondents thought that ‘we should have a smaller defense budget and leaner military,’ including 49 percent of young independents. Few – only 17 percent – thought the military should be larger.”

The challenge is keeping the armed forces equipped and capable, without any of the excess bloat or sentiment that Iraq and Afghanistan wasted tax dollars.

Oppose Gay Marriage at Your Own Risk – “Among those respondents who said that same-sex marriage should be legal (a full 44 percent of young voters), half said that they would probably or definitely not vote for a candidate with whom they disagreed on same-sex marriage, even if they were in agreement on taxes, defense, immigration, and spending.”

So, basically, the GOP loses about a quarter of its potential voters solely on the gay marriage issue.

Get Beyond Taxes – Republicans’ message about low taxes has not resonated as much with young people, who are either scrambling to enter the work force or to manage their student debt. The report noted that student debt increasingly weighs on these voters’ minds, and that Democrats are seen as more sympathetic to their plight.

“[O]ur focus on taxation and business issues has left many young voters thinking they will only reap the benefits of Republican policies if they become wealthy or rise to the top of a big business.”