Let’s face it, the polls are not good for President Trump. But, for all of the talk about Trump’s poll numbers being bad, few are taking note of an important trend: How utterly disastrous they are with millennials (18-34 year olds) and younger voters (18-29 year olds).
Trump’s abysmal numbers with millennials is a feature, not a bug.
Poll after poll has shown that millennials are the generational demographic most-opposed to Trump. His approval numbers hover in the high teens to the low 20s. Last week, a Quinnipiac poll found that just 17 percent of millennials approved of Trump’s job performance while an astounding 74 percent disapproved. Yesterday, a CNN/SSRS poll showed another set of bad numbers for Trump among millennials. A mere 23 percent approved of his job performance and 66 percent disapproved.
These millennial ratings for Donald Trump should worry both the White House and the Republican Party. Only one in five millennials identify with the GOP or its values, an historic low. At the same time, the party has been unable to attract these voters. In fact, the party is contracting among younger voters.
A May 2017 Pew Research study found that 23 percent of young Republicans (18-29 year olds) left the Republican Party between December 2015 and March 2017. It is a shocking number. While the study did not delve into the reasons why these voters left the GOP, it is safe to assume that Donald Trump’s rise had an impact.
It is also a safe bet to say that Donald Trump is the prism in which the Republican Party is viewed, especially by millennials. Several moments in his presidency are likely to push younger voters away from the GOP and Trump. In particular, Trump’s response to Charlottesville, the Trans Ban, and his response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico are among some of the moments in the Trump presidency that are negatively viewed by millennials. They see the GOP as an extension of Trump.
Putting it simply, the largest generation in the United States and biggest portion of the electorate has no love for the Republican Party. Further, they are the most-diverse generation in American history, which has also made them the least-white.
Some within the party, ranging from elected officials to random Twitter schmucks, are willfully ignorant, as they respond with the argument that millennials and young voters don’t vote, so why should they care?
The reality is that they should care, especially if they want to win in the future. Republicans have relied on Baby Boomers and rural voters to sustain us in elections for the past few decades. However, they are now populations in decline, as more and more Americans are moving from rural areas to urban ones, and Baby Boomers are starting to literally die out.
These disbelievers can call it fake news if they want, but it does not change the fact that this demographic crisis is still looming and when it comes, Republicans will be hit hard at the ballot box.
So, as Trump’s numbers with millennials and young voters continue to be as popular as a visit to proctologist, Republicans should be worried about how they will spread to the GOP and its candidates. If they are not and continue to employ willful ignorance, Democrats will be the ones to benefit.