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American Millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy. Veuer's Nick Cardona (@nickcardona93) has that story. Buzz60

There's a massive hemorrhaging of young voters from Trump and the GOP. They're handling it by trolling them out of the middle class.

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Fellow old people, imagine a candidate so lit that he’s backed by nearly three out of four voters ages 18 to 29. And imagine that the candidate getting your fam turnt (translation: your pals super excited) is not a YouTube star or a transgender activist determined to oppose cruel bathroom laws or (the way too conservative) Barack Obama in 2008. This new member of your squad is 60-year-old former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy — who in January will become the first Democratic governor of New Jersey since 2009.

Murphy’s fire (yeah, hot) performance with younger Millennial voters was nearly matched by 58-year-old Democrat Ralph Northam, a former Army surgeon and the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia. He won about seven out of 10 voters ages 18 to 29, a group that doubled its turnout from 2009 to 2017. And like Murphy, he isn’t exactly the next Harry Styles.

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The string of Democratic victories on Election Night 2017 falls well within the tradition of the party not holding the White House cleaning up in off-year elections. But what’s notable is that younger voters are generally mad AF at President Trump and ready to clap back at the ballot box — right as Millennials are prepared to eclipse Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation of eligible voters. 

While Trump is already historically unpopular for a new president, his appeal to America’s closest to death is keeping his ratings afloat, according to pollster William Jordan. Among younger voters, however, the president has already sunk to the level of George W. Bush in 2008 — after W had led America into the Hurricane Katrina debacle, two failed wars and the beginning of the Great Recession.

And it was likely W’s repellence to younger voters as much as Obama’s appeal to them that helped Obama win 66% of the 18-to-29 vote in 2008 as young people flooded to the polls in numbers that hadn’t been seen since 18-year-olds got the vote in 1972. 

So how is Trump’s GOP handling a hemorrhaging of young voters who are establishing voting patterns that could last the rest of their adult lives?

By trolling them out of the middle class.

How does the GOP tax plan, which has now passed the House and Senate in differing but rhyming versions, hurt young people?

Cosmopolitan’s Robin Marty counted the potential ways: higher taxes, more expensive student loans, rising insurance premiums, underfunded public schools, lower home values and a withering safety net.

“What’s very clear through all of this is that the group that most pays are the younger people,” Eugene Steuerle, of the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, told The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein.

It just makes sense that when you cut taxes for the richest Americans and corporations, the winners are the people who’ve had the longest time to accumulate wealth, businesses and stocks. In other words, older people. It’s the younger people, meanwhile, who are most likely to be punished by cuts Republicans will likely demand to pay for these tax giveaways and a deficit that was rising even before this budget-busting scheme — especially since they have continually promised to reserve cuts to social programs such as Medicare and Social Security for people who aren’t yet eligible for them.

And the GOP tax plan is far from the party’s only policy that seems finely tuned to tick off the newest generation of voters.

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Repealing "net neutrality" protections isn’t popular with voters from either party and could be especially disastrous for the Republican Party if it ends up compromising the Internet experience Millennials grew up expecting.

They don’t like obstacles to birth control, either. “Few Millennials have moral qualms about birth control, and they generally support policies to make contraception widely available and affordable,” according to a 2015 poll by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute.

In a new NBC News/GenForward poll, only 19% of Millennials identified with the Republican Party, and 71% said the GOP does not care about people like them.

Sure, there are still warning signs for the Democrats that Republicans’ collapse with young voters won’t translate into electoral gains. The same NBC News/GenForward poll found that 71% of Millennials want a third party, and in 2016 white Millennials voted more like their parents than their multiracial peers. 

Even so, there isn’t a third party yet on the horizon, and the Millennial generation will be the most diverse America has ever seen. And for now, their No. 1 issue is health care, according to that NBC News/GenForward poll. They seem much more worried about the government coming for their insurance than their guns.

The future is happening, and Republicans are betting trillions of dollars against it. It’s enough to make you wonder why they aren’t even trying to fix a problem that — like Trump’s court appointees — could last for generations. Maybe they know something we don’t know?

Well, there is that old conservative proverb: If you can’t beat them, stop them — from voting

Jason Sattler, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors, is a columnist for The National Memo. Follow him on Twitter: @LOLGOP.

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @USATOpinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.

 

 

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