Pew: White majority over, next generation more than 50% non-white

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Republican Party,Democratic Party,Polls,Campaigns,John Zogby,Millennials

For the first time in American history, non-whites will make up half or more of the next generation, likely pushing Washington toward a bigger government — and the GOP better tone down their anti-government rhetoric if they want to win them, according to a top polling outfit.

At a briefing for congressional aides hosted by the moderate Republican Ripon Society, Pew Research Vice President Michael Dimock said that the trend among younger Americans is support for government programs and acceptance of Democratic Party policies.

“Their tendency is more liberal, their tendency is bigger government,” he said of so-called “millennials” born between 1979 and 1995. They will likely set the trend for the still-unnamed next generation.

“This is a generation that is 41 percent non-white; the generation behind it is likely to be close to 50 if not more than 50 percent non-white, and the anti-government kind of tone is one that really doesn’t resonate with that non-white sector in particular,” said Dimock at the Ripon retreat.

His advice to the GOP: “Try to take as much of the anti-government rhetoric out.”

Ripon provided Secrets with a video of his recent presentation. In it, he said that younger voters are both pro-government and pro-business, split over gun control, back abortion and believe welfare does more good than harm. What's more, they are not angry voters and are still politically diverse.

“I think he confirmed what a lot of Republicans already know, that the party has a lot of work to do with younger Americans, who view the GOP as politically rigid and ideologically out of step. If there’s a bright spot, it’s that millennials are increasingly untethered to either party, which means there’s a chance for Republicans to win them back,” said Ripon’s Lou Zickar.

Pollster John Zogby, who has dubbed millennials First Globals in his new book, said those born after 1979 already number 75 million and will grow to become bigger than the 78-million strong Baby Boom generation, and that should be good for Democrats.

We asked him about Dimock’s prediction and characterization of the current and coming generation.

Said Zogby, who does our weekly report card on President Obama: “The 41 percent non-white figure is right on the money and so is the projection. There is a strong libertarian streak, but they largely do not hate government if it can prove to be a problem-solver. They have no patience for loud debates and for bureaucratic entropy, favoring quick and streamlined forms of problem-solving and decision-making -- just as they have learned in video games. There is also an upside to their all having received a trophy: They are great believers and practitioners in teamwork. This is potentially great news for Democrats and liberals (34 percent call themselves such), but mainly it is worse news for the GOP, who have no meaningful outreach or connectivity with them.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.