millennials

Millennials are over Obama’s Democrats in 2014, but they aren’t sure which party to call home longterm

Disappointed Barack Obama

Most Millennials became politically aware in the waning days of the Bush Administration and the “Hope & Change”-iness of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. According to a Pew Research report, Millennials supported Obama over John McCain in 2008 by 66%-32%, and Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012 by 60%-36%.

POLITICO suggested in its 2012 election post-mortem that Romney likely would have won had he split the Millennial vote evenly with Obama.

But a Harvard Institute of Politics poll out today shows a dramatic shift in support by Millennials in the 2014 midterm elections (emphasis mine):

A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29- year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, finds slightly more than half (51%) of young Americans who say they will “definitely be voting” in November prefer a Republican-run Congress with 47 percent favoring Democrat control – a significant departure from IOP polling findings before the last midterm elections (Sept. 2010 – 55%: prefer Democrat control; 43%: prefer Republican control). The cohort – 26% of whom report they will “definitely” vote in the midterms – appear up-for-grabs to both political parties and could be a critical swing vote in many races in November.

Mix of youthful idealism, tech-savvy culture could make Millennials prime target for terrorist recruitment

Millennial Terrorists

Millennials are many things, most of them innocuous and slightly detached, befitting a generation born into a world of smartphones and delayed adulthood. But they display a relatively vanilla cultural generational shift, certainly not as shocking as the counter cultural revolution of the late 60s-early 70s, to name a recent example. Harmless. Or are they?

Once they walked out, Dagan announced, with utmost poise, “It’s funny, because I am for a Palestinian state.”

He proceeded to speak at length about the roots of Islamic fundamentalism, the history of Islam, and the creation of ISIS—its philosophy, structure, economics, and future. His talk was utterly uncontroversial. The protestors, most of whom were graduate students, were ill-informed about their target. Dagan did not come to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor does he deny the need for a Palestinian state. And yet, because he served his country as a soldier and an intelligence officer, he was branded an enemy.

It’s not unusual, of course, for young people to get wrapped up in the chatter they hear most often, even if — as is the case in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict — much of what they hear barely scratches the complicated surface of the issue. As The Federalist piece puts it:

Fueled by an ideology where Israel is 100 percent guilty and Palestine is 100 percent blameless, these students failed to see the shades of gray. They protested a man whom they agreed with more than they would like to admit, and who was not there to discuss the topic they were so anxious to weigh in on.

Here’s the Republican presidential contender who could be a complete nightmare for Democrats

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) outreach efforts to millennials and minorities as well as his focus on issues that aren’t typical of Republican politicians have not gone unnoticed by one of President Barack Obama’s closest political strategists.

White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer says that Paul, who is actively building up a campaign-like structure in early primary states, may be the biggest threat to Democrats’ hopes to keep the presidency in 2016:

Speaking to reporters, counselor to the president Dan Pfeiffer said the Kentucky Republican is “one of the most intriguing candidates” in the field because of his appeal to younger voters of both parties.

“He’s the only Republican I think who has articulated a message that is potentially appealing to younger Americans,” Pfeiffer said at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor. “Every other Republican running is basically just Romney-lite when it comes to younger Americans.” Rand has made reaching out to non-traditional voters a signature component of his political agenda, most recently delivering a speech Friday to the National Urban League.

Pfeiffer also noted that Paul faces a tough Republican primary, a preview of which has been offered by way of attacks from his likely opponents, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who are trying weaken him before the 2016 horserace begins.

WaPo columnist says that Millennials should move back home to help cut costs so they can pay for those expensive student loans

Hey, Millennials, you worked hard for four years in college, and now you’re ready to find a job making a lot of money in the field in which you studied as well as find a place of your own to settle down.

And, then, comes  reality. You’re left with thousands of dollars worth of student loan debt that’s going to take you several years to pay off and that degree you worked hard to receive isn’t helping you find a job related to your major. Now, you’re stuck trying to figure out how you’re going to achieve your own individual version of the American Dream.

Well, Michelle Singletary, a business columnist at the Washington Post, has a brilliant idea (not really) to help you cut back your expenses so you can work on paying down student loan debt until your finances have improved: move back home and live with your parents.

“When people ask me about what they should do about their student loans, I ask: What are you willing to do to get rid of them as fast as you can?” Singletary writes. “And here’s my suggestion: Live for as long as you can with your parents, relatives or anyone who will allow you to stay rent-free or charge you a super-low rent.”

It has come to this.

In many instances, students have lived away from home in college dorms or their own housing to get the full experience of a four-year education. Young people, who have a particular fondness of their independence, may not want to go back home after they’ve left school.

Today in Liberty: House Republicans ramp up scrutiny of crony Ex-Im, NSA probably has your “compromising” selfies

“It constantly amazes me that defenders of the free market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions. Many times, for instance, I’ve heard people say, ‘A free market in education is a bad idea because some child somewhere might fall through the cracks,’ even though in today’s government school, millions of children are falling through the cracks every day.” — Lawrence W. Reed

Crazy Uncle Joe Biden admits Barack Obama hasn’t lived up to the “change” he promised

Speaking at an event hosted by Generation Progress, the student arm of the leftist Center for American Progress, Vice President Joe Biden admitted that the “change” then-candidate Barack Obama promised in 2008 hasn’t happened.

“Look, folks, this is within our power to change. Everybody says because we tried in ‘08 and it didn’t happen, it’s not possible,” Biden told student activists. “Wrong. We’ve gone through these periods before,” he said, pointing to examples he experienced in his career.

“But folks, this is totally within our power. Change. Change for the better is absolutely possible, and I believe it’s close to inevitable, if you’re the drivers of it,” he added.

To some degree, President Obama has lived up to his promise. He has, for example, managed to consume more power for the executive branch, leaving the legislative branch as an afterthought in his approach to governance. That could have serious consequences for Americans given that presidents typically take the powers left by their predecessor as a floor, not a ceiling.

Hey, Republicans, you need to pay attention to this: Millennials really dig candidates with libertarian leanings

I Stand With Rand

Republicans are trying to figure out how to connect with Millennials — young voters between the ages of 18 and 34 — to break the stranglehold that President Barack Obama and Democrats on them. Well, polling data released late last week by Reason-Rupe offers some great insight into the sort of candidate can win this coveted voting block over:

A majority—53 percent—of millennials say they would support a candidate who described him or herself as socially liberal and economically conservative, 16 percent were unsure, and 31 percent would oppose such a candidate.

Interestingly, besides libertarians, liberal millennials are the most supportive of a libertarian-leaning candidate by a margin of 60 to 27 percent. Conservative millennials are most opposed (43% to 48% opposed).

A libertarian-leaning candidate would appeal to both Democratic and Republican voters. For instance, 60 percent of Hillary Clinton voters, 61 percent of Rand Paul voters, 71 percent of Chris Christie voters, and 56 percent of those who approve of President Obama all say they would support a fiscally conservative, socially liberal candidate.
[…]
The fact that a socially liberal, fiscally conservative candidate mainly attracts liberals over conservatives indicates that social issues rather than economics largely drive millennials’ political judgments. It also suggests millennials are more socially liberal than they are economically liberal.

HealthCare.gov is so difficult to use even “highly educated” millennials can’t figure it out

The epically disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, ongoing backend problems and 2.6 million data inconsistencies are just a few parts of the story about the federal Obamacare exchange. Another problem, one that hasn’t received enough attention, is that the website is so damn difficult to maneuver that even millennials, young people who’ve grown up in the digital age, can’t figure it out:

A team of doctors, lawyers, health economists and health policy experts from the University of Pennsylvania recruited 33 volunteers and observed them as they struggled to sign up for health insurance on the highly touted website. These volunteers should have been in pretty good shape: With ages ranging from 19 to 30, they were all members of a Web-savvy generation. In addition, the study described the young adults as “highly educated.”

But when they got to HealthCare.gov, they ran into problems. Some of them had anticipated that they could type in their preferences – what services they wanted to have covered, how much they wanted to spend on premiums, how much flexibility they want in picking their doctors – and get a list of options that met their criteria. (It could have been the health insurance equivalent of using Yelp to find a sushi bar near Santa Monica that has outdoor seating and takes reservations.)

Thanks, Obama! Hillary Clinton may face more conservative MIllennials because of Obama’s failed policies

Obama speaks to Millennials

“The Upshot,” a New York Times blog focused on politics and policy, suggests Hillary Clinton may have a difficult time convincing Millennial voters to join her campaign. And she has President Obama to thank for that.

In a post titled “Why Teenagers Today May Grow Up Conservative,” David Leonhardt writes:

In the simplest terms, the Democrats control the White House (and, for now, the Senate) at a time when the country is struggling. Economic growth has been disappointing for almost 15 years now. Most Americans think this country is on the wrong track. Our foreign policy often seems messy and complex, at best.

To Americans in their 20s and early 30s — the so-called millennials — many of these problems have their roots in George W. Bush’s presidency. But think about people who were born in 1998, the youngest eligible voters in the next presidential election. They are too young to remember much about the Bush years or the excitement surrounding the first Obama presidential campaign. They instead are coming of age with a Democratic president who often seems unable to fix the world’s problems.

“Young Outsiders” key to Rand Paul and GOP victory, according to Pew Poll

Rand Paul's Youth Vote

Pew Research Center recently conducted the largest political survey in the center’s history, questioning more than 10,000 adults between January and March of this year.

The study is incredibly thorough, tracking partisan shifts to both the left and the right while segmenting out different demographics and noting their tendencies to vote for either Democrats or Republicans. Pew notes the “Partisan Anchors,” those who always vote for one party over the other, are “Steadfast Conservatives” and “Business Conservatives” for Republicans and “Solid Liberals” for Democrats.

Pew then broke out “Less Partisan, Less Predictable” voters, charting a path to victory for Republicans through a demographic known as “Young Outsiders,” who are skeptical of big government and socially more progressive, but who tend to side with the Republican Party overall.

Pew defines “Young Outsiders” this way:

Young Outsiders lean Republican but do not have a strong allegiance to the Republican Party; in fact they tend to dislike both political parties. On many issues, from their support for environmental regulation to their liberal views on social issues, they diverge from traditional GOP orthodoxy. Yet in their support for limited government, Young Outsiders are firmly in the Republicans’ camp.


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