Millennials continue to be among the strongest backers of Democratic candidates this fall, though their support for the Democratic Party has slipped since 2008. But young voters have given far less thought to the coming elections than have older voters, and this gap is larger than in previous midterms.
Younger Americans are found to be more likely to say they might not participate, even when analysis controls for other demographic characteristics.
The "Millennial Generation" of young voters played a big role in the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but their attachment to the Democratic Party weakened markedly over the course of 2009.
A third of Millennials lack health care insurance, and their support for health care reform exceeds that of older generations, but they have tuned out of the debate in Washington.
Compared with older groups, particularly Americans ages 50 or older, younger Americans are significantly more likely to be accepting of interracial marriage and are more likely to have friends of a different race.
Opinions of older adults tend to differ more from the other age groups than the views of those of the youngest generation when it comes to embracing technological advances and societal change. Two issues, the acceptance of homosexuality and tattoos, create especially large generational gaps.
While the economic downturn is falling quite heavily on younger Americans, their overall outlook remains optimistic. A new survey also finds Generation Next expressing more liberal views when compared with older age cohorts as well as evidence of increased political engagement.
This year, 66% of those under age 30 voted for Barack Obama making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972.
While Barack Obama's appeal to the young coincides with their increasing Democratic alignment, older voters do not show the greater allegiance to the GOP that might explain their relative reluctance to support him.
Trends in the opinions of America's youngest voters are often a barometer of shifting political winds. And that appears to be the case in 2008. Use the interactive tool to track generational differences in party affiliation over time.