When liberals talk about a “blue wave” wiping out the Republican Party in the November midterm elections, it’s assumed that the Democratic Party’s core constituencies will flood polling places and vote blue down the entire ticket. These key demographics include people of color, women, college graduates, and millennials.
It’s worth highlighting millennials because they will soon overtake boomers as the largest generation. Most of them identify as either Democrats or progressive independents. They care about climate change; they’re less enamored with capitalism than their parents are; and they detest Donald Trump. At a glance, this generation would appear to be the natural grassroots fuel for a midterm cycle that leaves Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan licking their wounds.
But in fact, a new Reuters/Ipsos survey suggests that the opposite could be happening. More than 16,000 registered voters between the ages of 18 and 34 responded to the online survey. The conclusion? Millennial voters are losing their enthusiasm for the Democratic Party, and a growing number of them now believe that the GOP is offering better economic leadership. What’s curious about the Reuters/Ipsos survey is that it doesn’t suggest any change in the millennial generation’s negative perception of Trump.
So why are millennials embracing Trump’s party right before a crucial round of midterms? Three words: the tax cuts.
When Republican leaders introduced their plutocratic tax-reform package last year and rammed it through Congress in a most undemocratic manner, their sales pitch was that the tax cuts would put more money in the pockets of hardworking, cash-strapped Americans. Democrats protested that the average taxpayer’s dividend would be dwarfed by the refunds that would go to the wealthiest households, and that the bill would pave the way for defunding government programs like Medicare, Social Security, and SNAP.