Millennials And Gen Xers Eclipse Boomers In The Voting Booth — But Will It Matter?

By Stephanie Akin
CQ-Roll Call

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Millennials overtook baby boomers last year as the country’s largest generation and also caught up to them as a share of the U.S. electorate. But they cast only 25 percent of the votes in November and election turnout among millennials is expected to drop by more than half in 2018.


American politics are on the cusp of a revolution. And it has nothing to do with President Donald Trump.

That’s because younger generations, who are generally more liberal and reluctant to identify with either political party, are overtaking their older counterparts for the first time since the baby boomers began to dominate every aspect of American life in the last half of the 20th century, researchers say.

A report from the Pew Research Center published last week found that millennials and Generation X voters outnumbered baby boomers and older generations for the first time ever in the 2016 presidential election.

The report marks the latest milestone in a trend that demographers say will keep building for at least another 20 years. And while Pew includes Gen X voters in its report, millennials alone outnumber boomers as a whole and are driving the trend.

The population shift has yet to make a mark in elections. That’s partly because young people are less likely to vote.

It’s partly because Republicans have been able to harness a backlash from older, white voters who fear their status is slipping. And it’s partly because Democrats have done a bad job so far in capitalizing on what should be an obvious advantage, a failure that cost them in 2016, population and political experts said.

As more millennials enter the voting pool, and as baby boomers die, demographers say the odds will shift in the Democrats’ favor, though some Republicans call such predictions overblown.

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