Millennials in general are known for voting more Democrat than older generations. While many Republicans automatically assume my age group will "get a brain" (referring to a quote often attributed to Churchill) and start becoming Republican when marriage and kids come into view, I personally find that to be incorrect. For one, most of us are not married, even fewer have kids, and the ones who do are not necessary running to read Townhall or buying whatever books Laura Ingraham or Mark Levin put out.
However, there is a distinct gap which I suspected, but was not aware of; While all Millennials are more liberal at this age than past generations, and while all voters are becoming more independent of political parties than in years past, it's women driving the change, per the Pew Research Center:
Men Identify Women Identify
Year Rep. Dem. Ind. Rep. Dem. Ind.
1994 35 34 28 31 37 27
2017 28 26 42 25 39 32
Men Leaning Women Leaning
Year Rep. Dem. Rep. Dem.
1994 52 39 42 48
2017 48 44 37 56
The Pew poll also observed a difference which has been growing over time, but which has really accelerated over the last decade or so: an increase in the number of college educated voters voting Democrat and those with less than a Bachelor's degree moving to the Republican Party.
What I'm about to write here is only a preview of a much larger piece, but one the GOP and the Conservative/Libertarian/Freedom movement REALLY needs to pay attention to, because a lot of myths older Republicans have repeated ad nauseum are not going to hold on for much longer.
First, Pew notes than 53 percent of White adults with at least a Bachelor's Degrees identify more with Democrats, while Republicans hold about 42 percent of the total. Two years ago (2016) this number was tied at 47 percent, Four years ago, 56 percent of Millennial women Pew surveyed identified as Democrats or leaned that way; that number was up to 70 percent last year when the survey was taken. And since Pew spoke to more than 10,000 registered voters as part of this sample, this ought to concern the GOP more. Some of this growth is due to the number of minorities (Whites make up about 69 percent of the US, and that number is decreasing every year), many of whom remain strong Democrats all their lives.
The poll also said about half of Millennial men identify with the Democratic Party, a number which hasn't changed much. Almost as many men, but especially among those with less than a Bachelor's degree, are GOP voters or at least conservative-leaning.
Now, many conservatives erroneously believe that kids show up to college, young skulls full of mush, and Hippie leftist professors merely indoctrinate them into becoming Bernie Sandernistas. However, many college professors I've heard from, both directly and indirectly, say a lot of the radical political views (shutting down events of people the students disagree with, making insane demands of universities, looking for microaggressions to rage about, etc) begins even before the student sets foot on campus; in other words, the Noam Chomskys of the world are at worst enablers of the identity politics, rather than the instigators most on the right believe. Why this is varies, perhaps poor parenting, poor education, and a dishonest media culture, not to mention not to mention social pressure from peers to conform, are inculcated into the identity politics which lets different "victim" groups fight for government scraps. One commentator I've been listening to suggests that too many people don't have enough going on in their lives so they invent problems in order to have something to do.
Three more reasons I believe Millennials, but women in particular, have moved more left is due partly to Trump, partly to the government, and partly to need. Here's a quick rundown:
As people move into cities, one's needs change, especially since many major cities have more single women than single men in them. For example, when I lived in a small town, I needed roads but not public transportation. When moving around Philadelphia or any other large city, I need public transportation because the parking is so bad. Hence, if I am like most voters, I will support policies that push for public transportation. If I live in a city with adequate transportation, it's likely far away from energy-rich areas where oil and natural gas come from. It's easier to therefore ask government to fund transportation and get away from those "dirty fossil fuels." Which party's platform does this sound like?
As more women join the workforce, issues like childcare come up as an even greater issues. As the costs of childcare have risen for many families, those who need those services the most are more likely to want that service provided. If politicians offer to make that free or subsidized, then to many voters that sounds like something reasonable. I don't think men as a whole care about this issue as much as women do, married and childless. The fact that both major parties want to make child care affordable tells you how big this issue is; however, one party wants to allow families to spend their own money on child care, tax-deductible, the other has a draft of legislation which guarantees affordable child care as a right from the government, who will provide it. Which party do you think this is?
And finally, I think there is personal opposition to Trump that probably would not have materialized as much if a more moderate Republican like Kasich or Rubio had won, or even if an outsider like Fiorina or Rand Paul had won. The way Trump carries himself, which is so endearing to the millions of people who voted for him to send a loud message to the Establishment that we the people want change in out government, is off-putting to those who have grown up in the #MeToo era where many women believe they are not treated fairly in the workplace or have inappropriate behavior directed their way (whether that behavior is real, false, or exaggerated is a different topic altogether) and this includes conservative women who identify as "anti-feminist" but who also will strongly sympathize with those who have been sexually assaulted or raped. In other words, subjects like sexual assault and harassment are issues women across the spectrum will identify with, especially younger women.
Because Trump is associated with sexism (again, fairly or unfairly is a different topic), and because most people in general go with feelings over facts, most Millennials view Trump from as a sexist, sexual predator with a gay-hating VP and my observation is that those two things alone cause the most anger among Anti-Trump Millennials. To be fair, a large number of Millennials are politically irrational and will hate any Republican who wins, but Trump and Pence really get the heat. There is literally nothing either of them can do that will convince any of their most ardent detractors to give them a chance.
On the positive, even after the Parkland massacre, gun-grabbing is no more popular than it was before for all Americans, including millennials. Also, roughly 20-25 percent of Millennial women own a firearm, which bodes well for the Second Amendment.
I realized, after writing this post, that there are a lot of Millennial-related topics that older folks really need to be attuned to, and for which solutions must be provided for, because the "special snowflakes" you roll your eyes at today will soon be the largest voting bloc in the country, and if you're concerned now, wait until you're saying "President of the United States, Elizabeth Warren." That day is coming faster than you think.