Young Voters Snubbing GOP, Dems to Be Independents

A growing number of young American adults are identifying as Independent voters, rather than becoming affiliated with the Republicans or the Democrats.

This seems to be a sustainable trend among millennials and especially among Gen Z, according to recent surveys and reports.

Gen Z and Millennials Markedly Different

Young US adults tend to shy away from political attachments as a rule. Yet, more and more of them start identifying as either Republican or Democrat as they become older. Though the newer generations of Americans are embracing an “Independent” status more than their predecessors.

According to John Della Volpe, who is the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics head of polling, millennials, or Generation Y – born in the 1980s and 1990s – have always tended to be “fiercely independent.”

However, in an interview with Axios, he emphasized that was even more the case among Gen Z voters – the generation born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s.

According to new findings, each new generation of voters in the United States has had more Independents, compared with the one before it, The Washington Examiner pointed out in a report.

The Axios report pointed out that 41% of US voters presently identify as Independents compared with 28% as Republicans and 28% as Democrats.

Among younger generations, however, the Independent numbers are clearly higher and growing, with 44% of Generation X (votes born 1965-1980), 52% of Generation Y (millennials), and also 52% of those Generation Z Americans who have reached voting age.

In comparison, the Independent voter affiliation is much weaker among the Silent Generation (born 1928-1945) – at 26% and Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) – at 33%.

The Gallup polls on the matter found the share of Independent voters among younger US generations has grown by five percentage points in both of the last couple of decades.

2023 Will Be Like 2022

Overall, in the latest Gallup survey on political affiliation, a significant spike in the share of Independents began emerging in the early 2010s and has persisted into the 2020s. 

Jeffery M. Jones from the pollster commented that the Independent identification among US voters had now reached levels “not seen before” after it started to grow in 2009. 

The 2022 figures show Republican identification grew by one percentage point compared with 2021, while there have been one-point declines in both Independent and Democrat identifications.

2022 thus became the ninth year in the past 35 years in which the Democrat Party didn’t hold two or more points over the GOP in party identification.

According to Gallup’s report from last August, the political parties’ attempts to appeal to their secured electoral bases may be a significant factor in the development of younger voters increasingly leaning Independent.

The same poll predicted a similar party preference pattern for 2023, in line with other years in the past in which the party controlling the White House loses the House in the midterms.  

This article appeared in Mainstpress and has been published here with permission.