The Republican Party needs to move quickly to exploit younger voters’ dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama or the largest generation in U.S. history will be lost to it forever, television commentator and author Margaret Hoover tells Newsmax.TV.
Hoover, author of a book being released today, “American Individualism: How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party,”
said the millennial generation is going to slip by the GOP if “we’re not careful.”
Members of that generation, often considered those born in the 1980s, also are called echo boomers, as so many are children of baby boomers.
“First of all, it’s the largest generation in American history — there are 80 million of them,” the great granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover said in an exclusive Newsmax interview. “Last election, in ’08, 50 million of them were eligible to vote, and half of them turned out. They were 18 percent of the electorate, and we anticipate they will be 24 percent of the electorate in 2012."
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The echo boomers are not Republicans — "and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone," Hoover said. “They voted 2-to-1 for Barack Obama, 66 percent for Barack Obama, 32 percent for John McCain. So there is an enormous partisan deficit when it comes to this generation and partisan identity tends to solidify on the third presidential election cycle, so off-year cycles are different to every presidential -election cycle. They voted for John Kerry in ’04, they voted for Barack Obama in ’08, and so Republicans basically have 16 months to make inroads with this generation or we could lose them for the rest of their lives.”
However, she argued that Obama has let many of these voters down, and “this is the key that I think Republicans have the opportunity to exploit.”
Although 55 percent of the millennial generation still likes Obama personally, she said, the number is a double-digit drop from January 2009.
“There are signs that they’ve been disappointed with him,” she said. “There are signs what they voted for was the post-partisan rhetoric that Barack Obama promised them. He promised them not red states, not blue states, but purple states, a United States of America. He promised them a government that would work again. And what have we got . . . a Washington that has veered ideologically to the left, a government that’s as gridlocked as ever before.”
She added, however, that “demonizing Obama for this generation won’t work” because he is well-liked and the GOP must focus on his policies. Republicans also will push away millennials if they do not ease up on social issues.
Millennials are 37 percent unemployed or underemployed, and the focus should be on an economic agenda that creates jobs, Hoover said. It is imperative to explain that businesses, not the government, create jobs, but that government can be part of the solution through lower taxes, regulation reform, and sound monetary policies, she said
“Here’ the thing about millennials: They actually think government can be a force for good. Who knew? It is not a typically conservative position, but millennials actually think that government should be part of the solution. So we can frame a pro-growth economic agenda with a government that’s a partner that is not impeding the progress and dampening economic opportunity the way it is now.”
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