A just released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll paints a vivid portrait of the challenges that the GOP faces with millennials. Furthermore, it shows a generational divide between the Republican Party and the largest generation in the United States. This is bad for the long-term stability of the GOP.
Among millennials, 58 percent believe disapprove of the job that President Trump is doing with only 34 percent approve. When it comes to the travel ban, 59 percent of millennials believe it is unnecessary and that it is goes against American values, while only 31 percent consider the ban necessary and an effective protection against terrorism. On free trade, 50 percent of millennials believe that it is a positive that helps the country, with 27 percent agreeing with President Trump that it harms the United States. As for Obamacare, millennials also believe that to be a good program for Americans and the United States. 48 percent of the poll’s respondents told NBC News that it was a good idea, while 33 percent said that it is not.
When you compare the opinions of millennials with those of Baby Boomers in this poll, you will see that they are polar opposites. The president’s polls well among Boomers. They turned out in 2016 and propelled Trump to the White House, while millennials stayed home due to dislike of both Trump and Clinton.
This is just one poll, so it is entirely possible that it is an outlier. However, it does reflect trends seen among millennials during the 2016 presidential campaign. Accordingly, it is cause for concern.
Millennials already feel no connection to the Republican Party and its principles. In 2015, a mere one in five identified as Republican. As I highlighted in my book, GOP GPS, this presents a major demographic problem for the GOP in future elections. We have relied on Baby Boomers to sustain us in elections, be they federal or local. Now, Baby Boomers are quite literally dying out and are a much more limited resource.
However, the Trump victory seems to have established a false belief among older Republican officials. They believe that those who have sounded the alarm about our looming demographic crisis are being sensational and alarmist. To them, the unexpected Trump win is proof that the party need not expand to millennials and that we not change course.
If this NBC News/Wall Street Journal is correct, then the looming demographic crisis will soon make itself present in an upcoming federal election and Republicans across the country will pay the price for our lack of preparation.