As younger voters have become increasingly progressive compared to previous generations, the Republican Party must learn to adapt by listening to them and implementing more progressive policies relative to now. Social, economic, and climate issues are important to younger generations, including Conservative voters. If the Republican Party fails to realize or act upon these trends, its candidates will have a much harder time winning future elections. While it seems as if this is asking the party to fully compromise its values, this is not the case. Instead, it offers ideas and perspectives on implementing a more Conservative or Centrist approach to issues that the younger generation has been paying more attention to.

Currently, it seems like Republican candidates are focusing on appealing to older white voters too much while alienating younger ones. In the past, this strategy worked because older voters voted at a much higher rate than younger voters. However, as younger and more progressive generations like Millennials and Generation Z have become more interested and educated about our politics, they are projected to vote at a higher rate than older voters. To illustrate this trend, Ronald Brownstein’s article for The Atlantic discusses different elections. In the 2020 election, the older generation still outvoted the younger generation, but with a smaller margin of 43 and 32 percent respectively. By 2024, Brownstein projects the older and younger generations to vote at equal rates, and by 2028, the younger generation outvoting the older generation. When looking at pre-2020 elections where a Democrat won over 360 electoral votes, one can notice that youth turnouts were at the highest: 1992 and 2008. High youth turnout helps Democrats win. This is a very unfavorable trend for Republicans if they fail to adapt their platform to appeal to younger voters.

Social issues are of significant importance to younger voters. While the Democrat party has been appealing to younger voters successfully, the Republican party has alienated them. Issues like LGBTQ+ rights and mitigating racism are two of the most pertinent social issues towards younger voters. Rather than having the old perception of being racist and anti-LGBTQ+, Republican candidates must be aggressive in implementing effective policies and rhetoric to help the LGBTQ+ community and fully condemn racism. David Morgan, Penn State’s College Republicans chief of staff, believes that “there needs to be some compromise on these issues from Republicans in order to win over the newer voting generation.”

Another pertinent issue to younger voters is climate change. Unfortunately, for the Republican Party, there is a common perception that they refuse to acknowledge climate change or take it seriously. Christopher Wells, a 21-year old college student This is an alarming trend for the party since Generation Z Republicans are three times less likely to deny climate change. If they do not implement effective policies or change their rhetoric, it could further alienate these voters. Rikki Schlott of the New York Post believes that Republicans should implement free-market solutions in contrast to the Left’s restrictive environmental policies in addition to providing economic incentives through innovation to combat climate change. This will attract more voters from Generation Z to vote Republican.

Economic inequality has gotten progressively worse over the years, and voters-especially younger ones- want the gap to decrease. Arizona State College Republicans president Joe Pitts claims that younger people want a more fair economy and allow people from historically marginalized groups to have the same opportunities to succeed. Some policies that the GOP could implement are requiring K-12 schools to teach basic financial literacy skills and implementing a $15 minimum wage, both of which are popular with the American people regardless of party affiliation. If the GOP successfully implements these policies, it will completely change the game for them in winning over younger voters.

Despite the seemingly ominous trends for the Republican party on attracting younger voters, there is plenty of opportunity for them to win over these voters. Through implementing these policies to combat these big issues, the Republican party will be in a fantastic place to win future elections. If they fail to, they can kiss winning most  future elections good-bye.

Sources

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-gen-z-college-republicans-want-gop-to-change-2020-11

https://nypost.com/2021/06/26/how-the-republican-party-can-rebrand-and-win-over-gen-z/ 

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/10/millennials-and-gen-z-will-soon-dominate-us-elections/616818/