GOP struggled with voters 18-29 in 2022 election over abortion, gun rights, climate change
Democrats were able to outperform the GOP with young voters despite record inflation, a declining stock market, soaring home prices and debt.
The Republican Party struggled with young voters ages 18-29 in the 2022 midterm election, largely due to issues such as abortion, gun rights, and climate change, according to an analysis from Look Ahead Strategies.
CNN found that House Democratic candidates "won voters under 30 by 28 points," which was a two-point increase over the 2020 election data for that age group.
Republicans made economic issues the centerpiece of their campaigns, emphasizing that the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have approved almost $5 trillion in deficit spending. The national debt — now more than $31 trillion — continues its rise to new historic levels, and it could lead to "higher taxes and lower earnings from future generations," according to the analysis.
Despite sluggish economic growth, record inflation, a declining stock market, rising home prices and soaring debt, however, Democrats were still able to outperform the GOP with young voters.
According to the election data contained in the analysis, voters under 30 were attracted to the Democratic Party's positions on abortion, climate change and gun rights. Edison exit polls showed that young female and male voters overwhelmingly supported legal abortions, with almost 50% of those voters citing abortion as their top voting issue.
"The right must drop the culture war and the reactionary rhetoric and focus on fixing our broken government institutions," Dan Taylor, Vice President of Campus at Young Americans for Liberty, said in a statement provided to Just the News in reaction to the election data in the analysis. "The right needs to embrace liberty and prosperity as a vision for a country with a decent future."
The Look Ahead Strategies analysis cited Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life, which found that 63% of young voters supported Democrats in the 2022 election cycle. However, exit polling data showed that millennials aged 30-39 are moving away from the Democratic Party. The exit polls also demonstrated that voters trend toward Republican candidates as they age.
"The biggest thing the right as a whole can do is to actually start engaging the youth rather than just assuming that they'll learn once they get older," Jesse Hughes, president of College Republicans at Liberty University, said in a statement provided to Just the News. "That may have worked when our grandparents were coming up but that's not going to work now. We are living in a completely different time period and we need to adapt to the times."
Republicans need to be "engaging in social media trends, using memes, going to where the demographic we're trying to reach is," said Hughes. "When I say use memes and trends, we have to make sure these things are actually high quality and that the younger generation isn't going to see it and just think 'oh that's cringe.'"
Turning Point USA's Charlie Kirk said on Tuesday he thinks younger voters are trending to the right.
"Younger voters are 13 points LESS liberal than they were just 5 years ago according to Morning Consult," the conservative political commentator wrote on Twitter. "There are massive cultural and institutional headwinds, but younger voters are trending right over a period of time, despite what the media tells you."
Kirk suggested ways Republicans can gain ground with young voters.
"If we want to accelerate gains, let's send more kids to trade schools, encourage family formation and home buying earlier — these are 'conservatizing' life events," he wrote. "Let's ban TikTok too. Despite these structural disadvantages, we are making serious gains with younger voters."
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