And Republicans might as well pack their bags:
Participation by two generations of younger voters, millennials and Generation Z, grew strongly in the 2018 elections, both nationally and in North Carolina. Generation Z voters, those born around 2000, are the latest generational cohort to begin reaching voting age. Their numbers will only grow in future elections as more age into the voting pool. Millennials are the preceding generation, which came of age around 2000.
Combined, these two groups make now make up almost a third of North Carolina registered voters. By the time the polls open for the 2020 presidential election, these groups will make up an even greater percentage of the state’s electorate.
Here's a little story, which you may (or may not) find relevant: Early last year, when we were organizing the county party and meeting new candidates for the Primary, I witnessed some unsettling behavior by an older Democrat. Not going to drop any names, but he has commented here before, and it's quite possible he may read this. In one instance, he stood up in front of us and railed against both the Young Dems and the LGBT movement, and warned about alienating older voters. A month or two later, he pretty much interrogated a young (Congressional) candidate in front of everybody, to the point that I had to fold his ears back in a private message a few days later. Due to health reasons, he hasn't been around since late Spring. And as harsh as it sounds, that is the moral to this story. Catering to the often backwards desires of those whose voting days are numbered, at the expense of alienating voters who are just beginning their involvement, is an exercise in futility. Sermon over, here's more stats:
Millennial registration as of Nov. 11 is 40 percent unaffiliated, 35 percent Democrat and 24 percent Republican. GenZ voter registration stands at 46 percent unaffiliated, 30 percent Democrat and 22 percent Republican.
Bitzer said he expects the number of GenZ voters registering as unaffiliated to soon reach 50 percent, but that lack of a party label shouldn’t be read as a sign they are ambivalent about politics.
“That does not mean that they are not political or partisan,” he said. “It just means they don’t want to be labeled. But when they get into the voting booth, they are just as political as any other generation.”
Nationally, millennial voters are leaning center-left. This year will be the first major look at how GenZ voted.
Since now is the season we go back (if we ever stopped) to the drawing board on how to attract more people to the Party, which policies we should champion, do not forget that these young people are facing economic struggles that many of us didn't have to. And one of the biggest is student debt, a burden that is keeping many of these younger folks from becoming homeowners. And it's not just the fact there's not enough money to pay for both; the whole idea of long-term loans has become deeply tainted because of that student debt.
The bottom line is, we can't afford to craft platforms and policy based on Boomer (or even GenX) principles and experience. We need to help these younger people achieve their own future, not the future we think they should have. That's going to take a certain level of humility, which is not always easy to achieve in a room full of Alphas.