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4 Reasons Republicans Struggle In Winning Over Millennials

Reince Priebus, the Chair of the Republican National Committee, recently penned an op-ed on Elite Daily titled, “Voting Republican Will Get Us Back On The Right Track,” suggesting Millennials ought to consider the GOP when they go to the ballot box in 2016.

One thing noticeably missing from the entire piece? Priebus failed to mention a single Republican policy Millennials might support.

He didn't even mention one idea the party itself espouses, or why Millennials should vote for the GOP at all, while asking for our votes.

He simply wrote,

We will never stop fighting so America has a brighter future, and we will need your support. So, volunteer, talk to your friends about politics and, most importantly, go vote.

Those words sound nice, but they would fit with any organization, including the Democratic Party, a local 4-H Club, the Boy/Girl Scouts… you name it.

Put bluntly, Priebus' words are empty rhetoric.

Reince Priebus and I share something in common: We both hail from the great state of Wisconsin.

And, if you ask someone from Wisconsin whether politicians can get away with fancy talk like his, without providing real substance, they'll be honest with you: You've lost them from the start.

I have a feeling most Millennials would react the same way to Priebus's words. We want an authentic agenda, not a fluff piece.

We won't blindly follow a party simply because we're told to, and Priebus should have said more in his op-ed than nice words.

Here are four reasons why Reince Priebus and Republicans, in general, won't win over Millennials in 2016.

Millennials are socially liberal.

Polls indicate that members of Generation-Y fall to the left — the far left, in fact — when it comes to social issues.

We're more likely to support marriage equality, and more sympathetic to transgender members of society.

Our views are outside of what traditional ideas once were: Half of Millennials believe there are more than two genders, for example.

Many of us are for meaningful and common sense immigration reform, as well.

As the most diverse generation in America today, we see the issue as a humanitarian one, and policy change is important to us.

Republicans, on the other hand, stand against many of the beliefs most Millennials hold when it comes to social issues.

When presidential hopefuls are calling for Constitutional amendments allowing states to bar marriage equality, it's a clear sign that the GOP is out of touch with younger Americans on that and other issues.

On immigration, the Republican Party stands against reasonable reform.

But, some have also privately admitted that their stance often exposes racist elements within their ranks.

Whether they genuinely stand against reform as a policy matter, or have other motivations behind their opposition, Millennials won't back the GOP when it comes to its beliefs on immigration.


Millennials want some guarantees from government.

Conservatives don't believe in a guarantee for healthcare, providing workers a living wage or a promise to help educate the young. That's a problem for Millennials.

Millennials want healthcare reform, at least in some way or another.

While recent polls suggest they're upset with how the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) has worked, that doesn't mean they don't want something to change.

Sixty-nine percent of Millennials believe government should provide at least some guarantees when it comes to healthcare coverage.

Another 68 percent also believe there should be government guarantees when it comes to providing a living wage, and 54 percent think some guarantee to education should exist, too.

The “hands-off” approach the GOP takes with these issues won't resonate with Millennial voters, which is probably why it's rarely mentioned by the party when they talk to younger voters.


Millennials are more entrepreneurial, but aren't libertarian.

Most Republicans probably recognize young Americans are socially liberal and, therefore, try to appeal to their economic side.

There's a logical reason to do this: Millennials are, by their nature, very entrepreneurial, and easing government restrictions might be one way the GOP can make advances with the influential generation.

But, merely mentioning the name “Uber” won't win over Millennials. (This strategy seriously confuses me, as Uber can't be claimed by any one party; the company even hired Democratic strategist and Obama adviser David Plouffe in the past.)

Though Generation-Y is full of self-starters, regulation of some kind is still desired, to allow those just starting out to have the same opportunity to thrive as big corporations.

Almost half of Millennials don't see corporations as genuine, and 40 percent actually see them as a source of fear.

Forty-four percent of Millennials believe corporations should pay more taxes; whereas, only 18 percent think they pay too much.

Those numbers flip when it comes to profits: 44 percent believe corporations earn too much, while only 12 percent think they earn too little.

And, when it comes to helping the poor?

Almost three-fifths of Millennials believe the government should spend more to help those in need, even if it results in higher taxes.

Sorry, Republicans; while we do want de-regulation in some areas, overall, we're still not a libertarian generation.


Millennials see through Priebus' methods.

Reince Priebus uses tactical language to suggest Millennials shifted their support in 2014.

His hopes are, by saying Millennials made that shift, others will follow suit in sort of a “bandwagon” method of gaining votes from young Americans.

It's deceptive and a mockery of our intelligence.

The title of Priebus's piece, “Voting Republican Will Get Us Back On The Right Track,” doesn't make sense, either. Not once does he explain how Republicans will actually get us on track.

Not one policy item, not one reason why Millennials should vote GOP in 2016, is given in the entire op-ed.

And, it seems like he's trying to hide his party's real stances.

What's more, his insistence that there was a shift in Millennial voters toward GOP candidates is flawed.

While the numbers he wrote are accurate, they neglect to mention turnout for Millennials actually dropped, from comprising of one-in-five voters in 2012 to barely being one in seven voters in 2014.

Even with that number shift, Millennials STILL voted for Democrats over Republicans in 2014.

From my reading of Priebus' piece, I feel as though he and other Republican leaders don't think too highly of us. If Priebus thinks he can win over Millennial voters without explaining Republican policy, he needs to reevaluate his voter outreach game plan.

Millennials are smarter than that and deserve a better pitch from politicians if they expect us to vote for them.

Though Democratic leaders need to reach out to Millennial voters as well, Priebus falls way short of giving any reason why we should vote Republican in 2016.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.

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Chris Walker

Contributor

Chris Walker has been writing for more than ten years, focusing primarily on political and social commentary.
Chris Walker has been writing for more than ten years, focusing primarily on political and social commentary.

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