A new Reuters poll revealing that millennials have turned away from the Democratic Party in their droves in 2018 has sent shockwaves through the liberal establishment which has long relied on the youth vote as a key vote-winning demographic.
Although establishment Democrats made several fatal miscalculations during the 2016 election cycle, one error that hurt them tremendously was their complacency in assuming that millennial voters would overwhelmingly vote for Hillary Clinton.
The recent Reuters poll has further proven that Democrats cannot rely on support from millennials. After polling 16,000 registered voters, and Reuters poll clearly demonstrates that millennial voters are walking away from the Democratic Party in huge numbers, with a 23% change in support for Republicans among millennial males.
The poll indicated that support for Democrats among millennial voters has dropped around 9% since the 2016 election, with many stating their belief that the Republican Party is better for the American economy.
The news that millennials are abandoning the Democratic Party in droves comes at the same time as the #WalkAway hashtag has gone viral on Twitter, suggesting a sea change is taking place in American politics. The hashtag represents a growing movement of Democrats — particularly minority Democrats — turning their back on the party and abandoning liberalism.
Enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning among millennials as its candidates head into the crucial midterm congressional elections, according to the Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll.
The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.
Although nearly two of three young voters polled said they do not like Republican President Donald Trump, their distaste for him does not necessarily extend to all Republicans or translate directly into votes for Democratic congressional candidates.
That presents a potential problem for Democrats who have come to count on millennials as a core constituency – and will need all the loyalty they can get to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November.
Young voters represent an opportunity and a risk for both parties, said Donald Green, a political science professor at Columbia University in New York City.
“They’re not as wedded to one party,” Green said. “They’re easier to convince than, say, your 50- or 60-year-olds who don’t really change their minds very often.”