PRINCETON, NJ – Baby boomers constitute 32% of the U.S. adult population and, by Gallup’s estimate, 36% of the electorate in 2012, eclipsing all other generational groups. Baby boomers have dominated U.S. politics on the basis of their sheer numbers since the late 1970s, when most of the group had reached voting age. Taken as a whole, baby boomers’ political leanings are slightly less Democratic than the adult population’s, perched between the strong Democratic orientation of the youthful millennials and the more Republican orientation of the older Greatest and Silent generations.
If the party preferences of each generational group were to hold steady in the coming years as the Democratic-leaning baby boomers gradually replace the more Republican Silent and Greatest generations, the country as a whole would likely become more Democratic. That assumes today’s children will lean at least slightly Democratic when they reach young adulthood, and thus that Americans who today are younger than 18 grow up to be as Democratic as the young voters they replace.
By 2021 and thereafter, however, the more conservative bloc of younger boomers will be entering the ranks of seniors, and – depending on the broader political dynamics affecting them – could shift the balance again. Of course, boomers will also be subject to the multifaceted ramifications of becoming a “senior citizen” as they age and thus, they may bend to forces that shift their political orientations in new ways as they enter this final stage of life.
Excellent article put out by Gallup, if not somewhat surprising to me. I would have thought that the baby boomers were more republican than this Gallup poll shows. I will say, however, that as we retire, we baby boomers tend to get more conservative both physically as well as morally.