The Youth Vote Doesn’t Always Lean Left

Voting By Generation

Harry Enten claims that the “stereotype of aged conservatives and liberal youth is wrong.” He compares the voting habits of various generations:

Most people part of the Eisenhower/Truman-generation, who vote more Republican than the nation at large, are likely to be around through the next three elections; estimates suggest life expectancies of about 9-16 years for people aged 80 to 70. Voters of the very Democratic Roosevelt-generation have life expectancies of less than eight years, being at least 85. Thus, the generations most likely to expire next are those who have historically been more Democratic.

Many might think that these Roosevelt-generation voters are going to be replaced by more liberal Obama-era voters, but polling casts that theory into doubt. Just because today’s college students are liberal doesn’t mean tomorrow’s will lean left, too.

He goes on to argue that “the generation of the next few years isn’t likely to be either conservative or overwhelmingly liberal; it’s probably going to be moderate” and that far “more than most young voters today, the next generation is likely to be up for grabs.”

(Chart from (pdf) Pew)