Type to search

5 Reasons Young Voters Will Keep Turning Away From The GOP

Memo Pad Politics

5 Reasons Young Voters Will Keep Turning Away From The GOP


Another GOP “autopsy” is out, and this one, from the College Republican National Committee, looks at why young people rejected the GOP in 2012. And — unsurprisingly — it found a “dismal present situation.”

“Grand Old Party for a Brand-New Generation” basically finds that the GOP’s biggest problem with young people is that it’s not the Democratic Party. Think Progress‘ Igor Volsky looked at the study and found that younger voters simply don’t trust the GOP or agree with them on much of anything.

Focus groups were asked how voters would describe the GOP. “The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

The CRNC reminds us that as recently as 2000, the GOP came within 2 percentage points of winning the youth vote. However, that was before the Bush administration and the Tea Party movement, which has moved the party further to the right on social issues than it has been in generations.

The report recommends re-messaging the GOP’s policies. For instance, it suggests shedding the talking point “We need to reduce the size of government because it is simply too big,” which was only endorsed by 72 percent of respondents in favor of  “We need leaders who aren’t afraid to fight existing interests like big companies and big unions in order to reform outdated and unsustainable programs,” which 93 percent of respondents liked. Because you know how Republicans love to go after big companies — for donations!

Despite Paul Ryan’s charming references to his iPod, the report found that “to shed the brand of being old-fashioned, the GOP need not just find young candidates who can make pop culture references with ease.” Instead they need to find leaders who speak to young people’s concerns.

The closest the report gets to making a helpful recommendation is “Don’t concede ‘caring’ and ‘open-minded’ to the left.” To do this, they would need to quickly change the course of the GOP Titanic that’s headed into a generational iceberg.

Here are five reasons it doesn’t look as if that will happen.


  1. Angela Walker June 3, 2013

    A shocking new study reveals that there are still College Republicans.

    1. darkagesbegin June 4, 2013

      funniest thing I have read all week–thanks. I may steal this from you!

    2. plc97477 June 4, 2013

      And people say zombies aren’t real.

  2. JH June 3, 2013

    This just in, Republicans are still terrible! Details at eleven.

  3. charleo1 June 3, 2013

    Asking what has gone so wrong with the GOP? Is like asking a man who’s
    just thrown himself off a 10 story building, and miraculously managed to survive.
    What he thinks is broken, and where does it hurt the worst? But, perhaps the
    hardest question to answer, is why he threw himself off the roof in the first place?
    As to the last question, I have no theories, that fully explains the conservative, Dr. Jekyll, GOP, that retreated as is customary, for the losing team, that Nov. of ’08.
    And the wild, and raging, Mr. Hyde, GOP, that emerged for the short, and rather ignominiously, named, “Lame Duck,” session. Before the inauguration in Jan.
    Who knows the depths, which such a defeat can sometimes drive a man?
    Some do go mad. Yes. But this is, or was, The Republican Party! Their Nation
    needed them to be their very best. And they had proven in the past, their best
    to be very good indeed. They would work with this new President. These serious,
    educated, accomplished men, would put their politics aside, and their shoulder
    to the wheel. And remind Americans just how extraordinary they could be, when
    the chips were down. As indeed they were. So, where does it hurt the most?
    Where is it broken? What has driven them to such despair? This is for them to
    parse out. I am but a passersby, an onlooker, to the bloody scene. I do hope
    for their speedy recovery. Their County still needs them.

    1. Elisabeth Gordon June 4, 2013

      Let them bleed out….they are doomed to extinction…it is only a matter of time…this country has NEVER needed a bunch of pathetically scared, mis-guided white men…They are xenophobic misogynists and they will NEVER see the oval office.

      1. charleo1 June 4, 2013

        Funny! My wife said the same thing, when she read it.
        Guess I was too easy on them.

      2. BDC_57 June 4, 2013

        crama works in many way.

      3. Fern Woodfork June 5, 2013

        Amen!! Let Them Go The Way Of The Dodos And The Whigs And Good Riddance!!!!!

    2. darkagesbegin June 4, 2013

      What has gone wrong with the GOP is that they have adopted all the positions of their big-money funders, like the Koch brothers, whose income is from oil. The Koch’s are afraid of losing revenue from oil if global warming is real and due to carbon emissions. So they have to deny reality and say that there is no such thing as global warming even though the ice caps are melting.

      And the republicans play along with all these crazy ideas, and support them, because that is where the money is. Same as Watergate: follow the money.

      1. charleo1 June 4, 2013

        I like that moniker. It may be true. But, you’re right. There isn’t
        near the money in standing up for the best interests of the people,
        when the corporations fill the coffers on the other side. I think that’s
        why in theory, politicians are supposed to love their Country, more
        than the special interest cash. I’m not sure when the last time that
        happened, however.

    3. plc97477 June 4, 2013

      I am not sure they can. They have a party that will hold it against them if they cooperate with an african-american.

  4. Dominick Vila June 4, 2013

    The reason the GOP is having so much trouble is not because of the conservative values they embraced decades ago, but because they abandoned those values in favor of facile solutions that are consistently rejected by most people capable of rational thinking. It will be a very long time before women, ethnic minorities, students, and those struggling to pay their bills forget the obstructionism and policies that contributed to their their inability to get ahead. A snow job may work for a while, but it seldom lasts too long. The GOP is paying a heavy price for their decision to allow the Tea Party to control the agenda.

    1. Fern Woodfork June 5, 2013

      Today’s Youth Live In The Here And Now , While The GOP/Tea Party Yearns For Yesteryear!! 🙁

  5. cynic June 4, 2013

    It is far better for the GOP to go with “We need to reduce the size of government because it is simply too big,” even if only 72% endorsed it. Than with “We need leaders who aren’t afraid to fight existing interests like big companies and big unions in order to reform outdated and unsustainable programs,” even if 93 percent supported that.
    Because the first is a belivable GOP position the second is just laughable, GOP standing up against big companies? the Tooth Fairy is far more belivable.

    1. TheSkalawag929 June 4, 2013

      Plus it’s too long.

  6. Catskinner June 4, 2013

    The GOP did so poorly in 2012 with young people because the Obama campaign lied to them. The lies are being uncovered now. All the GOP has to do is to sit back and let nature takes its course.

    1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh June 4, 2013

      Oh, really? Please tell the rest of us what those lies were? Or are you just full of hot air like the rest of the Obama Haters Brigade? And, please, we need you to provide proof that these were actually told by the campaign, not something you heard from Rush or Glenn.

    2. 788eddie June 4, 2013

      From your lips to our Lord’s ears; let’s hope, for our nation, that the GOP does just sit back and let nature take its course.

    3. Elisabeth Gordon June 4, 2013

      The GOP did so poorly in 2012 with young people, (and anyone that thinks in reasonable terms and with a conscience) by nominating a man who has NO allegiance to the country he so desperately wanted to lead….

    4. Jim Myers June 4, 2013

      Nature is taking its course.

      It’s called global warming.

      The desire of humans, AND YES,THAT EVEN MEANS WOMEN, to live free and make their own decisions.

      For the rights of people to NOT be trampled by corporations and wealthy, powerful people.

      To work for companies that actually value the input and labor of its workers, etc.

      To be able to send their children to school without worrying about them being slaughtered simply because they went to school that day.

      And the list goes on and on.

      1. Catskinner June 4, 2013

        Well, if our concern is Global Warming, then we should all be concerned about human population growth, because that is the ultimate driver. Which is why anyone with a brain in their head would appose comprehensive immigration reform.

        1. Chredon June 4, 2013

          What an idiot. Do you think opposing immigration reform is going to stop people from having babies? Do you think it really matters if that population growth is in the US, or Mexico, or China, or India? Anyone with a brain in their head would know that population growth is a problem that immigration reform does not solve.

          1. Catskinner June 4, 2013

            Not true, Chredon. Think about it. If all the industrialized countries in the world were to adopt an immigration policy similar to Japan’s, they could save the part of the world that isn’t quite yet over populated, and help the rest of the world control its unprincipled growth. If they don’t do that, the entire planet is lost.

          2. LotusJoan June 4, 2013

            Once again the GOP wants to slove problems by legislating a women’s reproductive organs, Color me shocked!

          3. Chredon June 5, 2013

            If all the industrialized countries in the world were to adopt super-restrictive immigration policies, people in third-world countries would still be having babies. Take a look at statistics, Catskinner – where is the birth rate lowest? Industrialized countries. Where is it highest? Third-world countries.

          4. Catskinner June 5, 2013

            Exactly my point, C… People moving from places that are hopelessly overcrowded to places that are not quite yet overcrowded insures the demise of the planet. The problem needs to be fixed where the people are coming from, not where they’re trying to go.

    5. CPAinNewYork June 4, 2013

      You are a pathetic jerk.

    6. LotusJoan June 4, 2013

      Even the party which you are defending does not believe as you do. They call it a branding issue, younger, minority and women voters just did not understand how minty fresh the GOP would make their mouth. They missed the building sized new and improved placed on the label.
      If you would read either the Collegiate GOP study or the one done earlier by the RNC you would know that the young people rejected the positions of the GOP, no lies. They read the GOP party platform and rejected it as old fashioned and racist.
      I think that your advice to the GOP is spot on “sit back and let nature take its course.” The GOP will linger on the endangered list and then move to the extinct list.

    7. BDC_57 June 4, 2013

      because they are smarter then you will ever be because they don’t believe the b.s. that repugs and tea baggers are trying to spread around

  7. Archie's Boy June 4, 2013

    Could it be…? That the upcoming generation of young Republicans will turn out to be the reasonable grownups needed who could re-make the GOP back into the party that was willing to work across the aisle to get things done for the sake of the American people…?

    1. Jim Myers June 4, 2013

      As a retiree, I will not live long enough to see it happen.

      However, I would welcome it.

    2. Chredon June 4, 2013

      Only if the Koch brothers die before they can buy them off.

  8. tobyspeeks June 4, 2013

    These kids are as delusional as the politicians. Their ideas may reel in a vote or two, but over all most younger people do not identify with the old white man’s party no matter how you dress it up.

    1. 788eddie June 4, 2013

      I’ll bet the CRNC members are getting a lot of positive attention from their “elders” in the GOP. To the oldsters, the CRNC must look like a bright shining beacon of hope. Unfortunately, the CRNC represents only a small minority of young people (most young people just don’t buy what the GOP is selling).

    2. Chredon June 4, 2013

      In 1992, the people 18-29 identified about equally with the two major parties. By 2008, they were Democrats, two-to-one. And it’s only going to get worse as the GOP tries desperately to cling to power while their base slowly dies off.

  9. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh June 4, 2013

    One can trace the current state of the Republican Party to a period shortly after the election of 1992. Once that happened, and America saw what a First Lady who didn’t want to stick to holding tea parties in the Rose Garden could do, the Republicans realized they had to find whatever they could to become the party of NO in order to block whatever reforms President Clinton wanted.
    So, they worked at it by going out and finding anyone, including the young voters, found the one hot-button issue that bothered each group, and built a campaign in that area around that issue. The problem is when you build say 10 or so regional campaigns around 10 different issues, each group thinks their issue is the most important. Thus we had a party that was not necessarily denuded of ideas, but had such a plethora of them that they were incapable of articulating them in such a manner that conveyed unity.
    Then, some of the more reactionary of the Conservatives looked and said “All 10 of these issues are of vital importance to Conservatives, so anyone who does not back them is not a TRUE Republican.” Unfortunately, these youths they struggled so hard to win in 1994 started drifting away almost immediately. Why? Because they were being told the party has no need for them if they didn’t want to support all the issues. Besides – everyone knows the youth voters don’t have the money that the party needed for rebuilding!
    So, what really came down to was because the young voters didn’t have the spare money to donate to the party, the candidates or the PACs they set up, the party stopped caring about the issues that concerned them. Instead, the Republican Party decided to create non-existent issues to draw older voters with more free money for donations into their circle by appealing to an image of America that only existed on “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”, but allowed them to harken people back to a “simpler time”, and get legislation enacted that supported that non-existent history. Unfortunately that “simpler time” also included voting restrictions by race, back alley abortions, inequality in pay for equal work, and eliminations of any regulations that ensured worker safety and protections.
    Thus, the Republicans managed to convince older and middle aged Americans to willingly eliminate all the progressive programs that they, their parents and grandparents fought for, all the while uncaringly alienating women, minorities and the young.

    1. jointerjohn June 5, 2013

      The current republican party says, “take a vow to our outdated, ignorant, corporate lackey, racist, sexist positions and swear not to innovate and you can come in”. The current democratic party says, “bring your ideas and innovations, we are listening”. The amazing fact is that they don’t understand why they are losing the young vote. Politically tone deaf that bunch.

  10. Hutchbilly June 4, 2013

    Yeah, Jesus got onto the Tea party way back when, saying they pay homage to traditions while ignoring the needs of the people.
    Matthew 23:23 23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

    Yeah, Darryl Issa, this means you……

  11. Chredon June 4, 2013

    Wow – an entire article about the responses of COLLEGE REPUBLICANS, and it never once mentioned the GOP attempts to double and triple the interest rates on student loans. You think maybe COLLEGE Republicans would be worried about student loan interest rates?

    1. paganheart June 5, 2013

      Probably not, actually. Speaking as one who until recently worked
      with college students, I found that most (and there weren’t many) who
      called themselves “College Republicans” fell into three

      The largest group were the children of 1% or 2%
      families, whose daddies (or trust funds) were bankrolling their
      educations. They spent their entire lives living in money-protected
      bubbles, never needing to worry about such petty concerns as the
      student loan debt set to financially cripple their classmates upon
      graduation. No such concerns for them; most were planning to head to
      law or grad school upon graduation (also on daddy’s dime), or had
      jobs or prestigious internships already lined up after after
      graduation (thanks to rich-daddy connections.) Many even felt that if
      you can’t afford to pay for your own education (or if you didn’t have
      a rich daddy to finance it for you I guess) you shouldn’t be in
      college at all. Virtually all in this group, not surprisingly, are
      white, and almost all fall in line with traditional GOP thinking
      (i.e., low taxes–the better to pad their trust funds–and lots of
      defense spending–the better to enrich daddy’s companies with big
      defense contracts.) Notably, a good number of them were members of
      fraternities or sororities, and basically spent their four (sometimes
      more) years of college in a drunken stupor on daddy’s dime. No need
      to apply yourself to your studies I guess when your pretty,
      privileged life is already set out for you.

      The second (and by far smallest) group were those who might fall in with the GOP’s “religious conservatives.” They were the ones writing
      occasional letters to the student newspaper and street-preaching near
      the student union about the evils of homosexuality and abortion. They
      were the members of Campus Crusade for Christ and usually spent their
      weekends holding Bible study in the dorm rec room or handing out
      tracts at tailgate parties. They tended only to associate with others
      like themselves; to put in mildly, they were not the “cool kids”
      on campus. Of the few women that consider themselves “College
      Republicans” I’d say slightly more of them fall into this group
      than the one above.

      (On a side note, I found it interesting that among many students that I dealt with who identified as “Christian” or even “Evangelical Christian,”
      there is also a rapid change going on. Most of these students are
      more interested in issues of social justice and environmentalism and
      in living Christ’s message as one of Love and Non-judgement; they had
      no interest in the abortion and gay-marriage obsessions of most older
      evangelical leaders and what they considered their “nasty and
      judgmental” form of Christianity. Take note, fundies…)

      The third group of College Republicans, I’d say about a third of them,
      are the ones that are probably most likely to represent the future of
      the GOP. They are disciples of Ron and Rand Paul. Virtually all of
      them are men, most of them white, and many of them “geeks.” They too have absolutely no patience with their GOP elders on social issues. Many of them self-identify as Atheist. They think there should be no restrictions on abortion or birth control. They have no problem with homosexuality or gay marriage. They think marijuana and other illegal drugs should be legalized (or at least decriminalized), along with prostitution They believe that the US should sharply curtail its military and stop being the world’s police force.

      Where they get a bit scary is that some of them are outright conspiracy kooks; many others believe that the government is “too big” and “curtailing our freedoms.” They think Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,
      welfare, foodstamps, EPA, etc need to be sharply reduced, turned over
      to states to manage, or even outright eliminated or privatized. They
      have an almost religious zealotry that the “free market” is the answer to everything and can do no wrong. They seem to think that if we just give people the “right incentives,” everyone has an inner Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg just waiting to come out. (I guess they think starving people and making them live on the streets are powerful motivators.)

      Of the few non-white “College Republicans” I encountered, they were most likely to be found here. Virtually all of this group is male; there are
      very, very few women. In my experience I also noticed that many of
      the young men who are followers of this rather libertarian form of Republicanism grew up without fathers, be it due to divorce, death or abandonment. I am not enough of a psychologist to speculate what that may mean…

      In my (admittedly un-expert) opinion, if the GOP is to survive, they
      must look at the Paul-ites as the future, with a few tweaks. They
      need to accept that not everyone in this nation is Christian, and
      that is not a bad thing. They need to lose their obsessions with
      gays and abortion, and make it clear that racists, sexists, bigots, misogynists and homophobes are not welcome in their ranks. They need to embrace science and intellectualism, and encourage their followers to do the same. They need to realize that being business-friendly and worker-friendly are not mutually exclusive. And instead of obsessing over “big government”
      how about admitting that government is necessary for a civilized
      society, and pledging to focus on making government “smarter?”
      (Less bureaucratic, more streamlined, more responsive, easier to deal

      And finally: more empathy for others. Less self-centered pricks.

      1. Chredon June 5, 2013

        I see your point. People in the first group don’t need student loans. People in the third group would be against government involvement in education financing. And I guess people in the second group would not worry about it, believing that God will provide.

  12. Mark Forsyth June 4, 2013

    If I were a kid,I wouldn’t want to hang out with a bunch of NOPE MOPES either.If the gop is not backwards and broken I don’t want to see what is.

  13. howa4x June 4, 2013

    Elizabeth Warren wants to take on the banks about student loans and wants them reduced to what the banks pay to borrow. this would be a savings to every young person and is opposed by every republican. The party is too old, too white and too religious. Even those in the tea party won’t give up their social security card or Medicare, yet they want to deny young peoples access to the same health benefits as they have. In fact I would love to see the tea baggers burn their cards like they did in the 60’s publically and renounce their benefits 1st as an example to everyone else. Have all the republican house members who always repeal Obama care give up their federal benefits and go to the market place like everyone else. That will show the young people that you have the courage of your convictions. Then they might consider following you

    1. silence dogood June 6, 2013

      When banks are forced to lend money to students at 2% then banks will stop lending money to students. Who will benefit then ? Elizabeth Warren, the fake Indian, couldn’t pass an Econ 101 course.

      1. howa4x June 6, 2013

        This is why you republicans will get hammered. Banks borrow at 1,7% and loan it out at ten. So you would rather see the banks make a fortune on our kids charging usurious interest rates? typical of you. What is good for big business is good for America right? No matter who gets hurt

        1. silence dogood June 7, 2013

          Student loan rates range from %3.6 to %8.5. The rate charged reflects the following realities: It can be several years before the borrower begins to pay back any of the principle or in most cases even the interest charge. The administrative cost of the loan. The fact that the loan is unsecured by any collateral and the borrower in most cases has no or very little borrowing history and thus is considered a higher risk for a default or at least a challenged ability to comply with repayment. Given these realities it is not unfair that banks charge what they charge. I am not Republican. Why would make such an assumption. I assume nothing about you other than you are probably not very intelligent.

        2. silence dogood June 7, 2013

          Student loan rates range from %3.6 to %8.5. The rate charged reflects the following realities: It can be several years before the borrower begins to pay back any of the principle or in most cases even the interest charge. The administrative cost of the loan. The fact that the loan is unsecured by any collateral and the borrower in most cases has no or very little borrowing history and thus is considered a higher risk for a default or at least a challenged ability to comply with repayment. Given these realities it is not unfair that banks charge what they charge. I am not Republican. Why would make such an assumption. I assume nothing about you other than you are probably not very intelligent.

  14. bcarreiro June 4, 2013

    Our Youth are bright and are struggling to make it to their goals in life… unlike the far right, whose only intention is not to help them but to spite them for their votes for Obama. Our Congress needs to be made up of INDIVIDUALS who are neutral as well as open- minded. WE THE PEOPLE need to take back Congress and put a stop to the republican agenda in which is the cause of the demise in this country. Not fixing loopholes in the tax code since the bush ERROR is one and it takes only the average joe…20-30 yrs to gross a million dollars, now republicons you tell me where the fucking love is when the 1% of americans who are rich only stay at this percentage …………..scared of CHANGE, literally!

  15. demhack June 7, 2013

    Wait until they find out that their debt load thanks to barak is now OVER $150,000

  16. Bernard Radcliff June 8, 2013



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.