The Battle For The Youth Vote

by Dish Staff

The Onion is watching it closely:

Libertarian Nick Gillespie – shock – suggests a more libertarian candidate would do the GOP good:

If the economy stays flat or especially rough for younger Americans, or if we’re plunged back into aimless wars without end, all that will make things tougher still for any Democrat in 2016 to easily win the youth vote. Especially if [Clinton] is facing a youthful Republican who is OK with pot legalization and gay marriage, pro-privacy, anti-war, and seems to have a clue on economic policy.

Alan I. Abramowitz shatters Gillespie’s fantasy. He finds that “nominating libertarian candidates would be unlikely to improve the Republican Party’s performance among younger voters because these voters are much more likely to be liberals than libertarians and because the vast majority of those who do hold libertarian views already identify with the Republican Party and vote for Republican candidates”:

One of the most important reasons why the libertarian philosophy holds little appeal for most younger voters is that a disproportionate share of voters under the age of 30 are nonwhite. According to the 2012 ANES, nonwhites made up 40% of voters under the age of 30 compared with 25% of voters age 30 and older. Moreover, the nonwhite share of younger voters is almost certain to increase over the next several election cycles based on the racial composition of the age cohorts that will be entering the electorate in the future.

The libertarian philosophy of limited government holds very little appeal to nonwhite voters in general, and it holds even less appeal to younger nonwhite voters. Only 4% of nonwhite voters under the age of 30 were classified as libertarians compared with 23% of white voters under the age of 30.