Opinion

Social Issues, Young Voters and the GOP

I have found that debate on social issues always brings out the ugly in some. That’s a shame, as they are important issues to be discussed and one should be able to do so without insulting people. Regardless, the trends shouldn’t be ignored, particularly with respect to young people who will be shaping future policy and be the country’s future leaders.

Here are two polls worth paying attention to via Gallup:

1) “Americans’ support for the law recognizing same-sex marriages as legally valid has increased yet again, now at 55%.” Among 18-29 year olds, 78% believe same-sex marriages should be legal. (As a side note, if you look at political subgroups in the overall population, 58% of Independents and 63% of Moderates feel they should be legal as well.)

2) “Americans remain divided on the abortion issue, with 47% of U.S. adults describing their views as ‘pro-choice’ and 46% as ‘pro-life,’ continuing a pattern seen since 2010.” But among 18-34 year olds, the gap is wider, as 50% define themselves as pro-choice and 40% as pro-life.

In light of the way young people have polled here and elsewhere, will a socially-conservative agenda be a problem for the GOP moving forward, particularly when it comes to winning presidential elections? Regardless of where you personally stand on these issues, it’s a question worth thinking about.

No matter what your conclusion may be, ignoring polling trends helps no one. Knowledge is power. And ignorance is never bliss.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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Joe Bierkortte
6 years ago

The problem with the Republican Party is not their social issue stance. The problem is that the government, controlled by democrats has gotten hold America’s youth and teaching their liberal theology in America’s schools. Teach our children when they are young and when they grow old they will not depart. Our country is moving toward liberal thinking. The GOP is going the same way. Look at the last two candidates the GOP has submitted for President. Both have liberal tendencies so what choice did the votes really have? Except on social issues, they were both the same. Conservative Democrats and… Read more »

PaulE
6 years ago

Social issues, are at best, a state’s rights issue. That’s where these issues belong. The federal government should NOT be in the business of legislating, one way or the other, these issues. The Supreme Court over-stepped its constitutional boundaries in Roe Vs. Wade and opened a door to further unconstitutional federal interventionalism on virtually every social issue. This is NOT what the Founding Fathers envisioned as the role of the federal government.

Don S.
6 years ago

Good post, Tom. I usually agree with Miss Bila but not here. Fence sitting and standing in the middle of the road leads to standing for nothing and getting run over from both sides of the road. Were the Republican party to water itself down any more it may as well cease to exist. The Federal government should leave the issues regarding marriage to the states. Innocent life should be defended from the womb. The God given unalienable Rights including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness as cherished in the Declaration of Independence are trampled upon with abortion. America… Read more »

Nick Mangus
6 years ago

I think the GOP is a ship without a rudder at this point. It seems to be floating around without a purpose or direction. No one is at the helm. Why do these issues need to influence the Republican agenda. They are personal issues that in many cases are based on faith. What is right and wrong is based on faith. Faith is a wonderful thing. Yet at it’s core, it may not be based on any proof or evidence. I have faith that when I go to bed I will wake up the next morning. Do I know it… Read more »

Tom
6 years ago

Social and cultural issues are important because they determine the fabric of a free society. A free and prosperous society requires people who are moral, ethical, and virtuous. Freedom does not exist in a vacuum. Young voters tend to become more conservative on the social issues when they get married and begin to raise children. Wisdom tends to develop in people as they age and take on more responsibility for themselves, their spouse, and their family. Is the goal to win elections by telling different segments of society what they want to hear? Abandoning its pro life stance might increase… Read more »

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