Young Voters and the Republican Party


This table gives you an idea of how each age group voted in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections.  In both cases, Barack Obama did well with voters between the ages of 18-29.  With 18-29 year olds, both John McCain and Mitt Romney received less than 40 percent of the vote.  Some have said that the Republican Party has a problem connecting with younger voters.  Do you agree with that assessment?

49 responses to “Young Voters and the Republican Party

  1. Ryan Mcclafferty

    I voted that nothing will change by the next presidential. I think that nothing will change because what the two parties stand for. The Republican party stands for high class people with money and the demorcatic party stands people who are lower class and may have money prombles. Obama lived here his whloe live and he understands and sees how real working people are and how we need help. People in the age range of 18-29 are just stating off with there jobs and still going to school to make somthing of there lives. They need to save as much as they can so they can pay for there bills and school and obama helps with that.

  2. Elizabeth Rumbaugh

    When I voted in my first election I voted republican. The Republican Party focuses on the foundation of Christian religion and moral goodness. Republicans also puts focus on less government involvement in Americans lives. The Democratic Party focuses on the people and major government involvement. The younger voters want the help of the government. We want to have our independence but the government behind us in times of need.

  3. I voted Republican during my first election because I felt the American people are too dependent on the government, looking for whatever they can get for themselves. Because the youth voters have nothing that the government is taking away from the they feel big government and sharing everything will solve all the problems. As soon as they have something of value and the government want to start taking stuff from them they’re gonna change their mind.

  4. Even that the past two elections The Republican party had last than 40% of youth voting for them it doesn’t mean anything this can easily shift the next election in 2016.It all depends on how the Republicans will try to catch the youths and what will be their approach.

  5. i think the reason that the republicans receive such a low amount of votes from the younger generation is because of their approach and their main focuses. the republican parties are based on christian religion and focus on more extreme views. for instance republicans are against things that younger people would agree with, the republicans have a more strict policy towards border control and towards same sex marriage. since the republicans are strongly against these issues that youth are more concerned with they tend to loose many youth votes.

  6. Alejandro Medina

    I agree that the Republican party has a problem connecting with us younger voters. The Democratic Party focuses a lot on education. Most of those young voters are people who are still attending school. i think we just vote on what will benifit us the most, and for the past couple elections the Republican Party has tried to cut investments down on education that would reflect upon us young voters.

  7. Christian Patterson

    Well it depends on how well the democrats campaign to determine whether or not the republicans will see an increase in youth votes. The thing is alot of younger people are generally depicted as middle class which is why they tend to vote democrat. As for republicans they generally do well when it comes to getting votes from the elderly but so does the deomcrats. Like I stated previously in one blog some people are party voters who only vote one way. In other words the republicans just did a poor job of campaigning and really didn’t have any momentum. There was just to much uncertainty when it came to Romney and his abilities to be head and chief of the U.S

  8. Yes the Republicans can not appeal to a younger audience and I do not think this will change by 2016. Obama ran at a promising time for Democrats due to the economic recession. I believe this resulted in a younger voting group choosing to vote for what would help them throughout it. I would give it til 2024 before a Republican is elected into the presidential office because the last 2 years of college applicants set new admission standards for many schools. This is likely to continue and when these students get jobs, chances are they will make more money than those students before. Much of the upper- class are Republicans therefore, these young adults will then convert to the Republican Party. This will finally give way for a Republican candidate to earn this younger vote. Also, for the 2016 presidential candidates, there are more promising Democratic candidates such as: Hillary Clinton, Rahm Emanual, John Kerry, and Mark Warner.

  9. The Republican party has been having trouble appealing to younger voters. The reason behind this may be that Republicans typically want less government, and young adults want government involvement. Young students need government aid usually in college, and students may see a Republican candidate as giving away their financial aid. Republican candidates have not and probably will not appeal to young adults, but there is room for change and no one can ever predict what will happen.

  10. A lot of the information that is representing the Republican “Identity crisis” is deliberately muddled in order to hide the reality. Recently The Hill put out polling data which indicated that people favored Conservative budget solutions UP TO finding out that they were proposed by people who fall under the label of “Republican.” (Source: It’s a branding issue, not a lack of appeal issue. Unfortunately to reverse a branding issue lots of refutation has to be done in defense from false claims and a clear cut stance has to be made as to what is actually emblematic of conservative values. Unfortunately the voices of conservatives are usually muted or spoken over so the internal thought is that they are already defeated. The people that take up the charge to proclaim conservative values and do this effectively rarely make news. The people that make news are Rino’s (McCain, Christie) who do severe harm to the people they claim to represent.

  11. Yes the Republican party does have a hard time connecting with younger voters. It’s a bittersweet situation & I say this because, people are having kids younger and younger, college is becoming more expensive and the economy is downfalling so much in which younger people have to begin to fend for themselves. The democratic party focuses more on helping those in need.

  12. There is an increasing amount of people who claim to be neither republican or democratic, but instead say that they are “independent”. As an independent, you do not stop voting for a party, you jus do not identify yourself with a party, and choose to instead focus on the specific platforms of each candidate. Republicans tend to be less tolerable to change and more likely to stand by tradition whereas Democrats are more liberal. Republicans have to convince people on the “left side” to vote for them whereas Democrats just have to maintain their tactics. This being said, the young generation of adults today see the economic crisis our country has found itself in and knows nothing aside from the fact that some sort of change is essential to building their own futures. Democratic candidates talk about education, unions, equality, welfare, etc. in their platforms and this appeals to the younger generation. As long as history repeats itself, the Democratic party will win the majority of young individuals votes.

  13. I think that President Obama gained most of young people votes because he seemed more progressive and open-minded than his opponents. He knew how to talk to young voters and how to win them over. McCain and Romney seemed very uptight and traditional. I think that Republicans have the chance to win next election if they’ll choose a good candidate. They need someone who can connect with young voters and who’s more appealing to them.

  14. Julie Rodriguez

    I think the republican party has a problem connecting to the younger population because of the items on their political agenda. The republican party pushes legislation to reduce taxes for the rich instead of the poor and since most young people are not yet in high earning positions, they prefer the democratic party which advocates low taxes for middle and low income families. Another reason the youth prefer the democratic party is because they are more liberal in the areas of same sex marrages and abortion, which seems to be a growing trend in the United States.

  15. Most 18-29 voters came from just having Bush as president. As they grew up any political problems was pointed at Bush and the republicans. It is something I went through from my parents and schooling. Now that their is the opportunity to vote the vote for “Change” was the strategy that was used and the only change our country offers from a Republican is to become a Democrat. I don’t believe it has much to do with political party ideas as much as it does with these ‘new’ 18-29 voters looking for something different.

  16. Wioleta Takuska

    Yes. The Republican party does have a “youth vote” problem and it definitely won’t be fixed by the next presidential election. The Republican party struggles to connect with the youth because they come off as old snotty people that care more for themselves than for others. They need to change the image that they are portraying in order for youth voters to actually feel a connection with them. They need to come off as open-minded people and actually be interested in the youth voters problems and concerns.

  17. Yes I think the Republican Party does have a problem connecting with young voters. For one, I don’t think they can relate to those who are on the opposite of the rich side. Also, they may have a hard time connecting to those who attend college and are worried about funds for it.

  18. Magdalena Kurnat

    The young vote is a problem for the Republican party, but it is a problem that can be fixed. They need to connect to many voters in college, by responding to college students needs. The young voters are the future of the party, and it is crucial for Republicans to get more young votes. It is a very hard battle, but the party can do it especially when trying to get more college educated young voters.

  19. Yes. I think the Republican Party has a youth vote problem. One of the reason could be that young people is the labor force in this Country. They are more involved with the facts that the society is presenting. Young people identifies with the candidate who thinks at the same way as them.

  20. Sean McDermott

    The Republican party can indeed fix their problem with the young voters in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. I remember in the 2008 election many uneducated voters voted for Obama because he was young, energetic and ran a exciting campaign. The Republicans in the last two elections seemed to run a usual business kind of campaign, which seems to lean more towards the 30+ as evident from the poll data. Now the Republicans have their own top contender who is young in US Senator Marco Rubio. I feel that Rubio will have the best chance to turn the tide in the young votes in 2016.

  21. The republican party is living in the past. Today’s young people are far more involved in their lives and can make their own decisions. They choose not to allow anyone to put in place laws that would take away their rights and freedoms. Thank goodness for young people who have the sense to know the difference between someone who kept changing his views, and someone who has been a steady leader who has their interests at hand. I voted for Obama the first time, and it was my first opportunity to vote. I voted for him again this time, and I’m so happy I did.

  22. The Republican Party will more than likely keep this trend of not being in tune with younger voters. The party has been focused on appealing to the affluent people in this country. There aren’t that many wealthy people in that age range and usually if they are then it comes from daddy/mommy’s money. The Democratic Party appeals more to young adults and also other adults in their 30s and 40s who are going to college for graduate degrees. That is a big upside because when the party promotes fixing the business of school loans then that is a big way to get a vote, especially in this economy where right now jobs are hard to find. Some people are also in their 30s and still paying off college loans. The Democratic Party appeals to people who are fresh into the world of independence and there are a lot more of them that don’t have that much money than there are of others in their age range that do have. The gap in this is so large and as long as the Republican Party focuses more on the haves and focus little on the have nots that this trend will more than likely stay the way it is.

  23. I voted that it is a problem that can be fixed by the next election, but, probably won’t. I think a big issue youth have with the Republican party is its reputation to willingly send kids off to war, although the Democratic party now seems to be on board with this as well, ie. Obama’s “peace efforts” and manuevering of chess pieces (military) from one country to another. It’s weird how college educated people tend to have Democratic tendencies, yet are less informed about the REAL world. I think once youths become more informed and better understand issues such as free markets and they begin to wake up and realize that charity should be chosen upon free will and not by force (excessive welfare programs through heavy taxation) and that competition drives costs back down to reality, the younger generations will sway towards the Republican party (Ron Paul’s college campus tours). If the Republicans can stay alive long enough and curtail their willingness to start wars (Bush & Cheney drove a stake through this), the pendulum will swing younger votes over to the Republicans.

  24. I agree that the Republican Party has trouble getting the young voter’s vote. Younger voters most often vote for a Democratic candidate because they appeal to middle income class and young adults. Republican candidates reach towards high income white elderly folks. Obama knows how to reach to his young voters very well. His positive attitude and self-esteem motivate them to reach their dreams and goals. Also, the Democratic party has a strong foundation to reach out through social networks which reaches out to mostly young people.

  25. This is a problem that can be fixed. The reason that Republicans lose a majority of the young voters is because they focus on extreme issues and religion. Many young people don’t care about religion and care more about personal choices and freedoms. That doesn’t mean that Republicans can’t get the majority of young voters. They need to focus on issues related with younger people and actually do something about them.

  26. I voted that the Republican Party does have a youth vote problem. I voted for the first time this past November and I voted for Obama. I voted for him because I felt that he can relate to what the youth need because he has two young daughters. I also feel like its easier for youth to vote for someone they think is “cool” not that it’s important but it helps. The Republican Party might be able to correct this problem if they would chose a younger candidate who can appeal to a younger crowd.

  27. Chris Chaparro

    It seems the Republican party always had a hard time connecting with younger voters when looking at our nation’s history. The republican voters are more traditional voters that feel that they can survive with the help of the government. Younger people like the idea of a government where if things happen it will help the people. If Republicans want to get younger voters they are going to have to go the opposite direction to get them and break their traditional attitude. This can possibly have a negative outlook on their older faithful supporters though.

  28. I do think the republican party does have issues appealing to younger voters. I think it’s mostly their stances on certain issues aren’t the same as younger peoples. I also think that Obama got so many of the younger voters because of his stance on tuition costs. I know quite a few people who voted for him because he said he would lower the cost of education.

  29. Stephanie Bialka

    I think the Republican Party has difficulty appealing to younger voters because of their views on issues such as gay marriage. Many of the younger voters are not against gay marriages. I also believe that many of the views and beliefs Barack Obama has appeals to younger voters.

  30. The Republican party does not have so much of a youth vote problem as the nation does an education problem. If you look at an electoral map from the previous election you will notice most counties that contain colleges vote blue, or Democrat, which can be attributed to the liberal college professor. Not only are young people fed the rhetoric about the glorious socialistic programs, but such biases also make it likely that young voters have little to no experience in the political system. You cannot be taught one side of an argument and still call it an argument, so the question we should asking is “how in depth are young people analyzing candidates?” Do they simply stop at what one candidate tells them and accept it as fact? Do they only listen to one candidate’s soundbites of another candidate? Or do they listen to both candidates equally? Something that many argue to be true is that candidates on either side of the aisle will say what they believe will get them elected, whether or not what they are saying is actually true. For example, Obama promised to keep tuition rates low (3.4% instead of 6.8%), yet if his 4 years in office had not caused such a rapid growth in inflation by his giving the Federal Reserve the ability to print however much money it believed was necessary for fiscal stability, students would have been able to pay the 6.8% rate and still not owe as much after graduation. However, people who do not look into the details of a candidate’s talking points can potentially be fooled by what they want to hear instead of what is actually happening. This is only a fraction of the case of young voters in America today.

  31. Michael hernandez

    I believe the Republican party has a young voters problem due to most young voters being in the same situation as a Demarcate is in, in the sense of needing government help. Generally speaking, younger voters will vote democratic until they reach higher education. Once a person gains a higher level of income, the tendencies of changing view and ideologies on many issues becomes more prominent.

  32. Just becuase the Republican party does not have a good reputation with young adults doesnt mean they cant change. Republicans do concentrate more on adults and the elderly. They need to change things up a little bit and talk about topics such as school and entry level jobs to catch young adults attention. Sometimes people have to talk outside their comfort level in order to win elections.

  33. Yes I believe there is a problem with the republican party and young voters. I myself am a republican and know that most people i know my age votes democrat during the past 2 elections. I believe that the reason for this is younger people do not have to worry about anyone but themselves they are not married or have other dependents to take care of (most of them at least), and do not have very high paying jobs as of yet. Therefore Obama appealed to them more because of his serious campaigning into the youth of this country and it apealed to the younger generations. Also the fact that most younger people are Pro-Choice and for gay marriage is a big factor. I am a Catholic therefore do not believe in either,witch confuses me because the so-called Christians, Muslims, and other religions who are against abortion and gay marriage continue to vote democrat really makes me question peoples faith?

  34. Katherine Didier

    Whether or not this idea is valid I feel as though the republicans have a reputation for being traditional. The younger generation tends to be more in favor of reform and new ideas. I do not think that the GOP represents this change. As seen with the slogan of Barack Obama “change” the democrats are appealing to the rebellious, unjaded youth. I say unjaded because the youth is more likely to believe in a reformed country with government health insurance and charity. After seeing the terms of presidents fail to reform most things, the older generations realize the hopelessness of the charity seen within the democratic party.

  35. The Republicans do have a problem getting young people to vote for them. I do not believe that it could or will be fixed by the next presidential election. I think that the Republicans don’t get a lot of young voters because they do not want to pass a reform. I could be wrong, but i believe that if the Republicans don’t try to do anything for the immigrants that they wont be winning any elections.

  36. Francisca Castro

    Looking at the great gap of young votes that were received between Republicans and Democrats it is obvious that the Democratic party attracted the majority. I think this is so because Republicans have or appear to have more of a narrow point of view on current issues that concern our younger voters like gay marriage/rights, abortion and immigration among others, while Democrats seem more acceptive of them. Maybe if Republicans assess all the concerns of our population as a whole instead of focusing on the older and more typical “American” than they would be able to receive and attract more votes.

  37. I think that it is a significant problem and that this won’t change by the next election. I think at this age many are not really aware of anything that has to do with politics. I feel like many also at this age are influenced more about what is being shown on TV, where they focus on scandals more than on the issues. They are also influenced by what their parents think and they don’t come up with their own point of view and believes. The youth is voting the way others want them to vote. Also i feel like they have an idea about Republicans being “conservative”.

  38. briana blassagame

    I voted democratic in my first election, because I felt that Obama connects more to the young people than Republican’s. I do agree that Republican’s have a problem connecting with the young people, and I do not believe that it will change by the next election. Republican connect more with adults that are in high classes and make enough money whereas they don’t need government help. And yes I agree a lot of people are to depending on government assistance, but their are still some people who need that government assistance just for a little while.

  39. Jessica Meldazis

    I agree, but I am unsure if it can/will be fixed in time or the next election. If they really wanted to, they could change up their tactics and views, but they would lose the elderly vote. Some might stay because of previous aversion to the democratic party. It probably won’t be fixed though. Most, if not all, of the party is very headstrong and would not want to change their direction to gain voters. The party itself might not change until most of the current members die out.

  40. Is it a problem? Well that depends on your point of view doesn’t it? Why does the fact that younger people vote democratic have to be in relation to the word “problem”? Younger people vote Democratic for a number of reasons, and some vote Republican for a number of reasons. The issue is not about “how” younger generations vote but “why” they vote the way they do and what about these parties are appealing to them most. A lot of people assert Republicans to be more traditional while viewing Democrats to be more liberal and that’s not something that’s going to change. Everyday our youth is taught to be more and more liberal, more accepting, more open minded. I’m not saying the Republican party isn’t open minded, they are just more traditional and with all the new things happening in the U.S. and the younger generation being the forefront of change, sometimes traditions have to be changed. I think the real problem is getting younger generations to vote based on the issues, the facts, the numbers, and unfortunately those are the issues that get swept under the “gay marriage” and “abortion” rugs.

  41. Samantha Garcia

    I believe that for the next elections it is possible for this problem to be fixed. All that is needed is for the Republican Party to take on initiatives that will grab the attention of that age group. I think that by the next elections the candidates will realize how important the youth vote is and what needs to be done to get that age group to the polls. Hopefully by the next elections the Republican Party can increase the votes within that age group.

  42. I believe that the Republican party knows that the youth vote is a problem for them however there is nothing that they can do at the moment that could drastically change it. From my point of view, it seems that young voters seem to think that Republicans are just old white men that have no concerns for the young populations. This stigma has persisted for a while and I believe that this won’t be changed over night.

  43. Yes, I agree the Republican had a problem with connecting the youth. First the all Romney is not a bad candidate he has all the aspect of a president. The reason he lost is because majority of the younger generation just simply don’t like rich monopoly to be on the seat of President. His image wasn’t as young and energetic as Obama. Romney did not take advantage of all the internet connection with the young generation. Most importantly Republican just don’t get much vote during bad economic.

  44. I think that there is a problem with the Republican party and the “youth vote”, and it won’t be fixed by the next presidential election. I believe that there has always been a stereotype that Republicans and young voters have always had different opinions and aren’t on the same page. And in many cases this is true. Republicans are more conservative with their views and most of the time young voters are always looking or are in support of something new and changes.

  45. Mitchell Fallinger

    I think it is important to consider the advertising and fundraising that took place during the 2012 election. While the basis of the Democratic party, and its support of helping the younger generation in terms of education and college is an important factor in the swaying of younger votes, I believe that the Democratic party’s focus on social media advertising had a very large impact on the last election. With this in mind, bringing the Republicans “Up to date,” in both advertising and by shifting some of their core values to incorporate today’s pertinent issues, they can have a country realignment to fall in their favor.

  46. Mari Fredrickon

    I am proud to be a young republican because this party stands for America. It holds all the morals an honest person should live by.

  47. I agree that the Republican Party may have difficulty connecting with the younger voters. From a young voter’s standpoint, my generalization about Republican candidates is that they are concerned primarily about the wealthy and about big money making corporations. Younger voters, myself included, are just entering the workforce, not wealthy, and sukpport local businesses. I feel that we identify more with Democrats and cannot relate well to the Republican life.

  48. Muhammad Shukair

    It is a significant problem that I have always thought would continue to give the Democrats the edge. The problem with this election in particular was that Obama was much more appealing while Mccain/Romney for the most part are Dull, and not intriguing to the majority of teens and 20 year olds. Obviously the other aspect is what they are representing. It is very hard to sell these ideas that don’t benefit that selected age group to any degree that the Democrats have set up for that group. Right now, the Democratic party is the party of the young because it is more geared to helping them than the Republic party.

  49. I believe Republicans have an issue appealing to young voters because of the type of issues they focus on. Republicans don’t focus on the issues that young voters follow, like gay marriage. Young voters want to vote for someone who believe in what they believe in. Unless Republicans start changing the issues young voters stand for, I don’t think young voters will vote Republican.

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