The New York Times offers us the latest evidence of a youth movement toward the left with some salient finding on a couple of big issues reproduced below. One thing that writeups of these findings tend to miss out on is that the cohort of 18–29 year-olds contains a substantially smaller proportion of white people than does the 30+ cohort. Viewed through that lens, combined with basic knowledge of race’s heavy role in US politics, the left-leaning tendencies of the youngest voting cohort aren’t that surprising. The contrast with the substantially more conservative “Generation X” cohort is, however, telling.
In some ways, this brings us back to the immigration bill. If it seems a bit baffling as to why some Republicans are so devoted to trying to push something through even though it tears the GOP apart and the bill seems unpopular, I think these facts about the changing ethnic composition of the United States probably keep some Republican strategists up late at night worrying. The GOP needs to get Latinos to vote more like white people — at least like white people of equivalent income levels — or else they’re looking at big problems.