Image Credits: NYTimes

It has been highly recognized that the Millennial generation is making an impact in the political world. In the 2012 election, we saw that Mitt Romney lost the millennial vote. If voting had started at age 30, Mitt Romney would be President today.  The younger generation in America can really shape the upcoming elections, and the College Republican National Committee, along with New Republican and Republican State Leadership Committee, have released a report on what must be done to win the millennial vote, therefore increasing our chances at winning an election.

First of all, in order to explore the millennial generation, one must define it. In this report, the term Millennials is defined as somebody 18-29 years of age. When we look at what the generation is like, you can figure out how to win their vote, and what the report found was “that young adults are cautious and somewhat apprehensive about risks. However, at the same time, they are ready for change and generally don’t feel beholden to tradition. They want to see people compromise to find solutions.” Interestingly enough, the report found that majority of Millennials do not believe that hard work is what gets one ahead nowadays. What this means for the Republican Party is that instead of trying to sell the idea that hard work leads to success, they should make sure and prove that it does. Understandingly, growing up in a financial crisis, the Millennial generation is fiscally cautious and less likely to commit to life milestones such as marriage or buying a house. The report states “They want many of the things that their parents and grandparents wanted as young adults, but are afraid they will not be able to afford them.”  It also states,Most Millennials think luck, not hard work, is how the wealthy get ahead in America”  Again, growing up in a fiscal crisis, one could understand why this generation believes that it’s not that easy to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” This specific characteristic does differ between age groups in this generation, though, with those 18-24 more likely to believe in luck than hard work as opposed to their elder counterparts.

 58% of Millennials  would prefer compromise to sticking to traditional beliefs. They want to see the government like their friend groups, compromising and undivided. This is relevant because as Republicans, we typically fight against victim hood. Instead of this approach, we should focus more on breaking down the barriers that big government has created or failed to destroy.

When given a survey, these are the issues that millennials found most pressing.


Image Credit: Growing Up GOP Report

According to this report, one must understand that when given the option between “free college for all” and “student loan reform”, the latter was chosen. The main ideas seen here are promoting equality, addressing climate change, and making it easier for people to escape poverty.


Image Credit: Growing Up GOP Report

We see a reoccurring theme here when focus groups were asked to choose the agenda if  they were in charge of a political party. The main ideas were equality, climate change, and financial security.

The report finds that the problem young Americans have with the GOP is that they aren’t sure if their priorities are the same. Sometimes, Republicans can focus more on the economic or fiscal reasons to accomplish something, and less about how it may care for other people. A recurring theme that millennials “built their candidate”  was someone that is “kind to people of all walks of life.” Millennials want someone who is kind, caring, and willing to empathize rather than fight. Along with this, after being shown a clip of Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledging that the Republican Party might not be appealing to students, a focus group was intrigued. This shows that if we change up our marketing approach, and bring a new, refreshing light to the party, younger voters will be attracted. Young Americans believe that the Democrats care more about creating an economy that benefits everyone, while at the same time, choose openness and innovation over Washington regulation. The same trend is shown in education, the report states that “young people aren’t necessarily looking for someone else to pick up the tab for their education, but they are looking for new ways to think about paying for it and making it more affordable.” Exploring social issues as well, such as privilege, LGTBQ and religious freedom, a reintroduced Republican platform was favored by the masses in every argument.

The key to winning young American votes is to reform the GOP’s messaging to fit to the millennial ideology. This does not mean straying from our core beliefs.  They’re practically begging for a Republican candidate and they don’t even know it. If a Republican wants to win this race, they’re going to have to hype up the new wave of conservatism. This means addressing barriers that may hinder equal opportunity,  reforming education, and not being afraid to tackle issues majority of other conservatives stray away from. Be empathetic, and ready to get things done. Make freedom look more appealing from the right side. It’s critically important that we associate the policies we propose with freedom, openness, fresh and new ideas, and working from the bottom up instead of the top down.

Alexandra Smith, chairwoman of College Republican National Committee, says in a statement to Future Female Leaders “This report shows that our candidates up and down the ballot have a huge opportunity to make inroads with the most influential voting bloc of the schedule. Millennials believe by overwhelming numbers that Washington is broken and that they should be the drivers of their own futures. The findings are a sobering yet promising look into the minds of younger voters who are eager for an alternative. Republicans can be that alternative, so long as they heed this advice.”

All of this being said, young Millennials are looking for a political party that helps, cares, and rebuilds America together. This is not about letting go of who we are, it’s about finding a way to make what we have more appealing to the masses and young voters. If we want to win elections, this is what we must do. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Major Takeaway Points

While Millennials consider themselves to be cautious, they still want to see big change in the nation and wouldn’t mind straying away from tradition.

For the Republican Party to pull out a win on this, they are going to have to redesign their platform to speak to the new generation of America.

An agenda to reach young Americans absolutely must include answers and ideas that apply Republican principles to tackling these core challenges.

We need to re-express conservative values in a way that will appeal to the masses, and show that they are “open, fresh, new, and work from the bottom-up instead of the top-down”

To download this report, please visit

Madison B
FFL Contributor
Madison is a blonde southern girl who believes in small governement, loving America, and having your highlight on at all times. Succeeding without special treatment, she describes herself as "Elle Woods, but like Conservative", finding an excuse to wear red, white, and blue as often as possible.

Read more articles