Three Facts that Show Millennials Are More Conservative Than You Think

Three Facts that Show Millennials Are More Conservative Than You Think

“A new paper analyzing voter trends reveals three surprising facts”

There is a reoccurring myth in American politics that states that youth are generally extremely liberal. Conservatives are invited to write off the new generations until they mysteriously reappear later on their voter rolls when they become older, presumably after gaining experience in life.

However, there are other explanations as to the cause of the continuous drift to the right over the last decades. One of them is that many young people have always been conservative in the first place. Reports about cohorts of liberal young people are grossly exaggerated.

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This is particularly the case with millennial voters. A new paper analyzing voter trends reveals three surprising facts that should encourage people to rethink conventional wisdom on their political outlooks. Published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the new study collected data from three surveys that monitored about 10 million American adults from 1970 to 2015. The paper especially recorded the political views of the last three generations.

Fact 1: Young People Are More Conservative than Ever

The findings are indeed surprising, if not shocking. According to this new paper, millennials are much more likely to identify themselves as conservative than members of Generation X or even the Baby Boomers when they were the same age.

Equally astonishing is the fact that more high school seniors identify as political conservatives than those ten years ago. Finally, there is the extraordinary finding that more young people today consider themselves conservative than in the eighties, a heyday of young conservativism during the Reagan era.

Fact 2: Young People are More Polarized Than Past Generations

A second surprising fact is that not only are millennials more conservative, but they are more polarized than previous generations. Young Americans are more politically polarized now than at any time since 1970.

Overall, researchers found that twice as many adults hold “extreme” political positions in the 2010s than in the 1970s. But millennials are not trailing their elders; they are leading the way. This polarization is not around the extremely liberal positions that have long been assumed to be the domain of youth. Rather researchers are finding this polarization is driven by conservative issues.

Incredibly, the young people are even more conservative than their parents or grandparents. Among new college students, for example, some 23 percent of millennials lean far right, while only 17 percent of Baby Boomers and 22 percent of Generation Xers now accept the same identifier. Never have such figures been found in previous generations.

Fact 3: Researchers Don’t Know Why Millennials Are More Polarized or More Conservative

The final fact is that researchers don’t understand why millennials are more polarized or conservative, which is an indication that the data is not biased. Indeed, the research runs counter to the liberal narrative about youth that automatically assumes them to be extremely liberal and Democratic Party-aligned. According to the progressive leftist view of history, youth over time should become more liberal not less. Conservatives should be losing support not gaining it.

Subscription8There is nothing in the credentials of the study’s survey takers and compilers to indicate they have a political agenda. If anything, they would probably tend to lean left. This is confirmed by the fact that the researchers and those commenting on the study have expressed surprise by the findings.

Some have conjectured that the rise of the Internet and 24-hour news has made the social identifying process more robust. Others point to a political climate that is much more ideological than in the past. However, the search for causes for the increasing shift right have yielded no firm conclusions save that further follow-up research is needed.

The importance of these three facts is highlighted by the growing influence of the new generations. Millennials and Gen Xers are now the largest sectors in the American electorate with 126 million voters compared to 98 million Baby Boomers and those from prior generations. It will also force the political parties to be more articulate and convincing since nearly 59 percent of millennials now identify politically as independents.

Studies like that of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin are good news for conservatives who desire a return to order. To those who feel blue about the nation’s political future, there is a lot of political red on the horizon.

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  • jrj90620

    Probably leaning right because they have parents leaning left.Normal for teenagers to rebel and go the opposite of what their parents want.I think in the long run.a minority will become more right,if they aren’t gaining from big govt.Unfortunately,govt has grown so large,most people are getting some kind of welfare and will be supporting Democrats.Expect that in 10 years,Hillary’s platform will be considered far right and Sanders the center.

  • Greg Nagel

    What about the probability that those who are having and rearing children are probably as a whole more conservative, and therefore their children are tending to also be more conservative? I have long suspected that as a society we may tend in this direction. It is interesting that the research may be proving this hypothesis true.

    • salesgirl

      Good point…Liberals tend to abort, contracept or engage in sterile, selfish perversions instead of acting like grown ups about their God given sexuality.

  • Michael Skaggs

    I’m not surprised. Young people can spot a phony a lot faster than adults. Also, the one age group in 1998 that was in favor of Bill Clinton’s impeachment was the 15-24 age group.

  • Alex

    Being conservative won’t save America just like it won’t save your soul. Besides, America wasn’t founded on conservative principles. Rather, it was founded on Enlightenment principles which were/are very liberal and progressive. These principles are also anti-God. If we could bring back 1776 we would still end up where we’re at now in 2016 only faster.

    • Lindapg27

      Were they, really, anti-God?? Show me where. Thanks!

  • DavidMacko

    The reason for the current hopeful trend is not too difficult to understand. Young people have seen the terrible mess which leftist, big government policies have created. The more intelligent ones realize that they will have to suffer a lot longer due to these policies than the rest of us if they are not changed quickly. The study should have looked more closely at the libertarian trend of this conservative revival.

  • salesgirl

    Young people have had to suffer the consequences of previous generations’ “liberal” ideology – they suffer the fallout from no fault divorce, “open marriages,” same sex “marriage,” and legalized drugs; they suffer loneliness because of contraception and other perversions of human sexuality have denied them siblings and spouses, they suffer poor education and formation because parents insist on delegating their responsibilities to strangers, institutions and various media (TV video games etc to keep kids quiet, they will not be able to save for retirement thanks to the ponzi scheme they call social security …in short they live the human cost of liberal ideals, they are the losers in the system. Who’d want to perpetuate it, to inflict it on others?

  • Cole

    While they claim they are conservative and polarized, are they really? Do they oppose “gay marriage”? Do they oppose BOTH the death penalty and abortion? It is easy to claim something and not even understand what is being claimed. Also, it is not a good thing being polarized. There are certain things that a strong stance in necessary on, but on most other things, some compromise is necessary. This polarization plays itself out in a congress that can’t get anything accomplished. I would have really liked to see more evidence backing up this article.