New Poll Illustrates Rightward Shift Amongst Millennials

by Nathaniel Botwinick

The Public Religion Research Institute and the Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs released the “2012 Millennial Values Survey” today, which further illustrates a possible shift rightward by millennials.

  • In 2008, Obama won the millennial vote 68 percent to 32 percent over John McCain. However, among current college-age millennial voters, Barack Obama only holds a seven point lead over a generic Republican candidate.
  • The majority of millennials (76 percent) cite jobs and unemployment as the critical issue facing the country.
  • 45 percent of millennials identify as independents, which is 13 points higher than the general population.

This poll also only surveyed those between the ages of 18 and 24, which probably pushed its results leftward. It is quite likely that millennials between the ages of 24 and 30 would have appeared even more receptive to conservative economic policy, since they have suffered from the vicissitudes of the current job market that the younger half of the generation has not yet endured.

The survey also found that a majority of millennials support abortion and legalizing gay marriage, suggesting that the best course for the Republican party in 2012 involves focusing heavily on economic issues in order to secure the millennial vote.

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