How Millennials and Gen Z are changing politics

Oct 6, 2021, 5:13 PM

Millennials and Gen Z...

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2018, file photo, the Instagram app logo is displayed on a mobile screen in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — As millennials (born 1981-1996) and Gen Z Americans (born 1997-2012) become more involved with politics, how will their influence change the two major political parties in the nation?

Republican pollster and millennial Kristen Soltis Anderson discussed the changing political landscape involving these two groups of voters with Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson.

Anderson said young voters don’t find their political news from the evening news or newspaper like their parents and grandparents. Rather, they turn to social media, where news becomes blurred with their personal interests.

“Now if you’re young and you are on something like TikTok or Instagram, merged in there with all of the photos of your friends and new beauty trends or soccer stars or whatever it is you’re following, there are probably some political messages and people being activists, talking about issues that matter to them,” she said.

Facebook faces grilling in D.C.

With Facebook the subject of a recent congressional hearing, how important will regulating social-media platforms be for young voters?

A majority of Americans (68%) believe major technology companies have too much power and influence in the economy, according to Pew Research Center.

“Young people are digital natives; they’ve grown up with a lot of this stuff being very normal to them. . . . They’re not as scared of it as an older politician might be,” Anderson said, referencing Sen. Richard Blumenthal gaffe during the Facebook hearing to examine protection of children online, focusing on Facebook, Instagram and mental health.

The 75-year-old senator asked if Facebook was committed to “ending finsta,” according to NPR.

Facebook’s global head of security pointed out that “finsta” is a slang word for a second, secret Instagram account: fake + Insta = finsta.

“It just goes to show that with older politicians tending to dominate our institutions [and] who may be less familiar with what’s actually going on on these platforms, that can create this interesting generational tension around . . . what should we be doing about all this [regulating social-media companies],” Anderson said.

Winning support of Millennials and Gen Z 

What does the Republican Party need to do to attract these Millennials and Gen Z voters? Boyd asked.

Anderson said climate change is a big issue for young Republicans today.

According to NPR, Republicans age 18-39 are more likely than their elder GOPers (by a nearly 2-to-1 margin) to agree that: 

  1. “Human activity contributes a great deal to climate change,” and
  2. “The federal government is doing too little to reduce the effects of climate change.”

As for the Democratic Party, Anderson said young voters want the Dems to look much more like a European Green Party, focused on environmental issues and very progressive toward economic and social matters.

“That does not sit well with many older Democrats or establishment Democrats,” Anderson said.

Looking ahead

“What is on your radar as you look toward the 2022 midterms?” Boyd asked.

According to her latest polling, Anderson said President Joe Biden receives his highest marks in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. How well the Biden administration does a year from now with defeating the virus will be a linchpin issue for swing voters, she said.

She added Mr. Biden’s poll numbers have fallen in three areas:

  1. Immigration and immigrants massing at the southern border,
  2. the stagnating economy and
  3. the swift pullout from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Inside Sources

Christmas tip...

Curt Gresseth

If you tip more during Christmas, are you feeling generous or pressured?

Most American say they will tip more, or the same amount as last year, during this Christmas season.

2 days ago

governor cox and several other people speak about his plan to address homelessness in utah...

Aimee Cobabe and Hugo Rikard-Bell

Gov. Cox releases budget plan to improve homelessness resources in Utah

Gov. Spencer Cox's office said Utah has gaps in how it addresses homelessness. His plans will attempt to close those gaps.

3 days ago

Two street signs pointing in opposite directions. One reads "censorship" and the other reads "free ...

Mariah Maynes

The role university leaders play in promoting free speech

University leadership plays a valuable role in promoting free speech on college campuses. By modeling discourse and promoting factual information, they can encourage students to do the same.

10 days ago

President M. Russell Ballard might have been losing his vision himself, but he never stopped inviti...

Boyd Matheson

Boyd Matheson: President M. Russell Ballard inviting all to “come and see!”

President M. Russell Ballard spent his life inviting people to "come and see."

21 days ago

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 04: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands with U.S Vice President ...

Mariah Maynes

Biden-Jinping meeting: what’s on the agenda?

A long awaited meeting between President Biden and China's president, Xi Jinping will occur on Wednesday in San Francisco, California.

23 days ago

The U.S Supreme Court building....

Kristine Weller

Separation of powers: How the Supreme Court will weigh in

The Supreme Court will be considering a variety of cases that have the potential to reign in federal bureaucracy.

23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

How Millennials and Gen Z are changing politics