Many Young Republicans See GOP Leaders as ‘Out of Touch’
While the Republican party has moved farther and farther right in the last decade, new survey numbers show that many younger Republican voters have rejected many of the traditional ideas of the conservative wing, especially when it comes to social issues.
In a Senate speech earlier this month, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse cited a survey that found that 53 percent of young Republican voters under the age of 35 would use terms like “out of touch”, “ignorant”, or “crazy” to describe climate change deniers. Overall, 61 percent of non-Tea Party Republicans believe in climate change while only 25 percent of Tea Partiers believe that climate change is happening.
Only 32 percent of Republicans believe that climate change is the result of human activity while a mere 9 percent of Tea Partiers believe that climate change is the result of human activity. By comparison, 84 percent of Democrats believe in climate change and 64 percent believe it’s related to human activity. According to the Center for American Progress, 55 percent of House Republicans and 65 percent of Senate Republicans either reject the science of climate change or oppose government action on climate change.
On gay marriage, young Republican voters are also divided with their older counterparts. In a recent Washington Post poll, 52 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters said they support legalizing gay marriage while just 43 percent opposed. Among Republicans between 50 and 64, just 37 percent of respondents supported legalizing gay marriage and a mere 25 percent of Republicans over 65 were in favor of legalizing same-sex unions.
Younger Republicans also have different preferences when it comes to the 2016 presidential race. The leading candidate among younger Republicans between 18-45 is Ted Cruz with 18 percent of the vote. By comparison, 11 percent of Republicans over 65 favor Cruz. The leading candidate among Republicans over 65 is Jeb Bush with 15 percent of the vote. By comparison, only 11 percent of young Republicans under 45 favor Bush.
Chris Christie is right behind Cruz among young Republicans with 15 percent of the vote while Christie garners 12 percent among Republicans over 65. Marco Rubio draws 12 percent of the over 65 vote while getting just 5 percent of the under 45 vote.
(Image courtesy of Jayel Aheram)