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Harvard Poll: Millennials Like Democrats But Love Republican Policies
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Harvard Poll: Millennials Like Democrats But Love Republican Policies

Millennials say they favor Democrats but actually align with Republican policies

Millennials have frustrated beltway politicians and strategist for many years due to their constantly evolving ideology and ease in which they are swayed by celebrity and promises of utopia.

Harvard’s latest Institute On Politics polling on millennials for the Fall of 2015 was released Thursday, December 10, and it further added to the conundrum that is the millennial generation.

When looking at this data, millennials say they would prefer, by 56 percent, a Democratic candidate to win the presidency in 2016 and they give higher approvals to Democrats in Congress, 39 percent to Republican's 19 percent, but at the same time they prefer policies championed by Republicans.

Image source: Getty Images Image source: Getty Images

Important numbers in the polling data:

  • Millennials are split on government regulation with 49 percent pro regulation and 48 percent against regulation
  • Most millennials believe that government is not the solution to thier problems and that government is the problem
  • A majority of millennials believe their communities benefit and their quality of life improve more from investment of businesses rather than government
  • 49 percent of millennials believe the American Dream is alive while 48 percent believe it is dead
  • A whopping 60 percent of millennials support the use of ground troops in fighting Islamic State but would not enlist themselves to fight if additional troops were needed

This new data shows that millennials believe in the core policy cornerstones of the Republican party. Millennials are split on whether regulation from the government is a good or bad thing, but, considering one-third of the respondents are still in school they haven't had to deal with the hindrance of government over-regulation and will likely change their view as they leave their careers in education, as other data has shown.

This poll also shows millennials have a positive view of businesses and corporations. They do not follow the mantra of Democrats who use every opportunity to demean big business. They see businesses as an entity that does more positive for their communities than government does. Sadly, many millennials see the American Dream as something dead and of the past, but they don’t associate that the American Dream is dying due to excessive regulation and taxation brought about by Democrats and two terms of President Barack Obama.

When dealing with foreign policy, millennials take more of a hard line, like Donald Trump, against Islamic State and support sending in ground troops by a whopping 60 percent. This number is up from before the Paris attacks where millennials were split on ground troops 48-to-48 percent. Although, millennials are ready to fight Islamic State, only 16 percent would join the military if more troops were needed in the fight.

Important numbers on 2016:

  • Millennials consider integrity as the most valuable attribute in a presidential candidate at 51 percent, followed by level-headedness at 33 percent, then authenticity at 26 percent. The most shocking is political experience is at the bottom of the list at 18 percent
  • The fact that Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) calls himself a Democratic Socialist makes 24 percent of millennials more likely to vote for him and makes no difference to 66 percent
  • For the Republican primary Donald Trump gets 22 percent of support, followed by Ben Carson at 20 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) comes in third at 7 percent
  • In the Democratic primary Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton coming in at 41 percent to her 35 percent
  • 38 percent of millennials think Donald Trump is qualified to be president and 39 percent do not believe he is unqualified
  • The top issues going into 2016 is the economy at 35 percent, followed by foreign affairs at 9 percent, and at the bottom of the list is immigration at 8 percent, and gun control and race relations at 1 percent

At the bottom of millennials checklist for a presidential candidate is political experience, which explains why the so called "outsider candidates" are doing so well. More importantly, the attributes of integrity, level-headedness, and authenticity are very important to millennials when considering a candidate for president, which might not be good news for Hillary Clinton and her many scandals. This could spell trouble for Democrats to get out the youth vote if she does become the nominee.

By far the most troubling news from the poll is that millennials are not concerned by the fact that Bernie Sanders identifies himself a Democratic Socialist and this title would make almost a quarter of millennials more likely to vote for him.

As 2016 approaches millennials rate the economy as their most important issue, one in which Republicans excel at and when the economy question is broken down millennials care more about jobs than they do about the issue of taxation. Unfortunately, for Democrats the issues of immigration, gun control, and race relations are at the very bottom of issues that are important for millennials.

If this poll shows the Republicans nothing else, let it show that millennials believe in the policies that built and have sustained the Republican Party. And that Republicans need to spend the money and time to educate millennials that the Republican Party and millennials are aligned in their core principles regarding the role of government.

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