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The GOP Has a Hobby Lobby Problem With Young Voters

Getty Images/Scott Olson

On Monday, conservatives celebrated what the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case means for policy. In the future, they may regret what it means for politics.

A majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. That’s true whether or not the survey mentions specifically the possibility of exempting for-profit corporations with religious exemptions, although support declines somewhat with that caveat.

Kaiser Birth Control Poll
Kaiser Family Foundation

But it’s the breakdown of those numbers by age that should alarm conservatives. Younger people are much more likely to support the mandate than older people are, as you can see in the graph above. As Americans get older, it’s likely the conservative position will become less and less popular.

The pattern should be familiar. It’s the problem that conservatives face more generally: The base of the GOP, the party that champions conservative value, consists disproportionately of older voters who are shrinking as a portion of the electorate.