Millennial voters keep with historical trend of leaning right as they age

Every generation of voters who helped elect Obama in 2008 has shifted to the right


Millennials have kept with tradition and have gradually moved to the right of the political spectrum as they have gotten older. In 2020, President Joe Biden lost nearly half the votes from those between the ages of 18 and 29 who had voted for former President Barack Obama in 2008.

According to The New York Times, Biden received 55 percent of the vote among those who were between the ages of 18 to 29 in 2008. Those same voters preferred Democrat candidates by just 10 points in the 2022 midterms. 

Every generation of voters who helped elect Obama in 2008 has shifted to the right. These findings are at odds with recent reports that showed the younger generations were staying Democrat, which has not been the historical norm. 

Historically, younger generations vote for Democrats and become more conservative as they get older. There is a popular adage that suggests if you vote for Republicans in your 20s, you don't have a heart, but if you vote for Democrats after you turn 30 you don't have a brain. As many Millennials are now older than 30, it appears that the adage continues to hold true.

However, in recent years, reports have given Democrats hope that this shift was not happening with Millennials and Gen Z voters. In December, the Financial Times wrote, "Millennials are shattering the oldest rule in politics" by not moving right. 

Even data from the Democratic data firm Catalyst showed that Millennial voters might not keep that trend. As more Millenials became eligible to vote, the data revealed that the numbers were skewed at the time. The new, younger voters were canceling out the shift that was happening among older Millennials. 

Democrats have shifted their attention to influencing Gen Z voters by using social media influencers to present their messages on apps such as TikTok. In April, a report showed that the White House was going to give influencers a briefing room. 

This strategy is to target the 18-to-29 age range of voters. "We're trying to reach young people, but also moms who use different platforms to get information and climate activists and people whose main way of getting information is digital," White House Chief of Staff Jen O'Malley said.

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