While Donald Trump’s inflamed, exaggerated rhetoric may have attracted working class men in the rust belt to vote for him last November instead of the female candidate supported by the black president, his antics since the election has turned off a large number of Millenials which gives Democrats hope for the future.
“Among those under 30 who initially identified as Republicans or leaned Republican in December 2015, 23 percent shifted to the Democratic party,” the New York Times reported, citing a new study by the respected Pew Research Center.
Many of those who stopped identifying as Republican have strongly negative views of Trump.
“Those who left the Republican Party,” reports Pew, “expressed sharply negative views of Trump” 84 percent disapproved, including 57 percent who strongly disapproved.
“Democrats who stayed with their party – or left and returned – overwhelmingly disapproved of Trump’s job performance,” added Pew.
“These millennials are the flip side of Trump’s success in attracting white working class voters who’d previously stayed home or voted Democratic,” reported the New York Times Opinion section article. “He has done so in part by aligning the Republican Party more closely with white nationalism, which played a role in his huge victory margins in older, less metropolitan areas.”
Earlier Pew Research has shown millennials, in general, are more liberal and more likely to identify with Democrats than Republicans. They are more liberal on social issues, more open to a diverse society and more optimistic about the country’s future than Trump voters.
These trends “present a real risk for the Republican Party,” added the New York Times. “Research has shown that generations tend to adopt political habits that last a lifetime. The cliche that the young are liberal and the old are conservative is mostly untrue. Liberal or conservative, the young often retain their ideology as they age.”
“Right now,” continue the report, “the Republican Party is Donald Trump’s party, and fewer than one in three adults under the age of 30 approve of him.”
So amid the dark clouds we live in under Trump, there could be rays of sunshine coming in the future. If the Democrats can offer up the right candidates to tap into this innate optimism, and then deliver on the promises of a fair, pluralist society, we could be on the way to the better world the majority of Americans have long craved.