Looking to NC voters 'under 45' to change state politics
Friday, September 22, 2023
The youngest North Carolina voters could end up shifting the political landscape of the state in the not-too-distant future.
New data from the Brookings Institution indicates that together, people under age 45 -- the Millennials and Gen Z -- make up the largest generation and tend to lean toward the Democratic Party.
Michael Hais, former vice president of the research-based consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates, believes the generation's diversity could be the driving force behind changes in politics over the next few years.
"Those under 45 are very distinctively different in their demographic composition, their partisanship, their political attitudes, and their media usage than voters who are over 45," Hais explained.
Research also revealed Millennials and Gen Z will be a majority of potential voters by 2028, and will represent more than 60% of potential U.S. voters by 2036. It also highlighted if Democrats do not run campaigns focused on younger voters, they could jeopardize the allegiance of the growing majority.
Dakota Hall, executive director of the Alliance for Youth Action, said another shift is young voters demand significant change and will not settle for minimal reform.
"These are folks who went to high school and witnessed nothing but 'on' news coverage on their different social media feeds, of Trump, of dysfunction, of government shutdowns and then a global pandemic," Hall pointed out. "They've seen the worst of what this country can be, and I think they want to push us forward."
According to research from the Alliance, young Democratic voters prioritize protecting abortion access and other issues - like democracy reform, voting rights, affordable health care, and stopping gun violence and climate change. Young Republicans are more concerned about the economy and inflation.
Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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