50 Years After 1968, Can Young Voters Change Politics? A New Poll Says Yes


Fifty years ago, in the dust and fire of global youth activism, everything seemed possible. The political world was a cloud filled with chaos and opportunity, pain and promise. The young were a powerful force, even a world-changing one.

Could they become that force again?

As many Millennials voted for the first time this week in state primaries from New Jersey to Iowa and California, a new poll of their views offers some intriguing glimpses into the future.

The survey finds that most Millennials want “a strong government” to manage the economy, and that most millennial Democrats have a favorable view of socialism.

What do this poll, and the past, say about our political future?

The Young Left

It’s more than a truism to say Millennials are this country’s political future. As Pew’s Richard Fry has noted, “Baby Boomers and other older Americans are no longer the majority of voters in U.S. presidential elections.” Fry thinks millennial votes could well surpass those of Generation X in 2020. He adds: “Millennials are likely to be the only adult generation whose number of eligible voters will appreciably increase in the coming years.”

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