The GOP Isn’t Prepared For Gen Z’s Sway In 2024

Written by Hudson Crozier

What to know: In 2024, there will be 52 million more eligible Generation Z voters than there were in 2016. That’s about 20 percent of the 2020 electorate. In the past four national elections, Americans under 30 have turned out to vote at rates 25 percent higher than prior generations at the same age. Analysts have foreshadowed Gen Z’s rise to political power for years, and these voters are expected to have outsized influence over the 2024 election.

How do they vote? Very liberal. So far, Gen Z has been more loyal to the Democratic Party than any other age group, playing a large role in stopping a projected “red wave” in last year’s midterm elections. Older, more conservative generations are dying, while voting-age members of Gen Z increase by the millions each year.

  • The big trend: And unlike baby boomers or Generation X, there are signs that younger generations are not becoming more conservative with age. (However, in predominantly red states, Gen Z tends to follow the crowd and vote Republican, according to election data.)

The danger for Democrats: More recent polling shows that President Joe Biden, the current Democratic frontrunner for 2024, is about as unpopular with Gen Z as with everyone else. Young voters are also increasingly dissatisfied with Democrats, with 47 percent wishing there were more than two major parties. A third-party candidate could take votes away from Biden and increase the chance of a Republican victory in 2024.

Trying to win the new generation

  • Democrats: Some congressional Democrats signed a “Voters of Tomorrow” pledge, promising to engage with Gen Z voters in 2024. Biden’s campaign will rely on young allies such as Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.) to rally support and lean into initiatives like forgiving student debt and climate change.

  • Republicans: Conservative leaders have urged Republicans to reach more youth with more relatable messaging and social media savviness. For now, most conservatives focused on converting young people aren’t politicians — they’re young activists or content creators. At large, the GOP is having much more trouble than the Democratic Party at reaching Gen Z.