“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re 40, you have no head.” – misattributed Winston Churchill quote
Though nobody is exactly sure who said it, the quote echoes the traditional view of people’s ideological trajectory – it grows consistently more conservative over time. There is certainly some historical data to back that position. Take the most recent election as an example, John McCain lost the youth demographic by 66%-to-32% but won the 60+ crown with 51% of the vote. A similar trend happened in 2004, where Bush won every age group except the 18-29 year olds, where he lost by a 13% margin. The trend exists as far back as the 1960s, where Kristen Soltis of Pollster found that,
“In every presidential election from 1960-1976 the 18-34 age group was the most Democratic age group, but in the presidential elections from 1980-1992 the 18-34 age group was the most Republican age group.”
Translation: young adults are not always Democrats. Or in the words of Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance!”
Actually I’ll go one step further…I’m telling you there is a great chance. But, it’s not going to simply fall in Republican’s laps…they must take the active step to seize the opportunity that is being handed to them. And it is a big opportunity.
A recent poll from Rasmussen found that young voters aged 18-29 trusted Republicans more on 8 out of the 10 biggest issues facing the nation. In everything from the economy to healthcare to taxes, Republicans have an advantage on the issues. The reason? This is a generation who cares deeply about what is happening in Washington. We are young, smart, politically active, and most of all – we pay attention. It has become increasingly clear that the Democrats we helped into office based on a message of “change” are not living up to their promises. We are falling into a debt quagmire that will be difficult to dig ourselves out of all in the name of business-as-usual partisan politics.
2010 is a chance at a new beginning. Democrats have taken the youth vote for granted, counting on our votes in November and then forgetting about us by Christmas. But we must make them remember 1980. We must make them remember that we were the strongest supporters of Ronald Reagan. The groundwork has been laid. Simply because Democrats have won our age group in recent elections does not mean we can’t change our minds. Fact is, if the recent polls are any indication, we have. Young adults believe in Republican solutions to almost every major issue that we face. We have cut through the Democratic promises to see a reality mired in debt and taxes. Now, we’re ready for real change.
Change won’t come easy. But nothing that is worthwhile ever does.
– Brandon Greife, Political Director, College Republican National Committee
Read more: http://www.crnc.org/