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To Be Young And Liberal

Cato's Gene Healy muses about how demographic trends are slowly bearing out John Judis and Ruy Teixiera's thesis from "The Emerging Democratic Majority." Not only is the population of minorities and educated whites growing, but the young generation is socially liberal:

Demographic trends suggest shrinking support for the culture war and foreign-policy adventurism. Younger voters are overwhelmingly socially liberal, while two-thirds of Latinos believe we should be out of Iraq, a larger share than the general population, according to the Pew Hispanic Center's polling.

Note that Healy concedes the social liberalism of young voters while implicitly suggesting their economic views are less clear:

Yet, here's an interesting fact: Recent Census Bureau figures predict that the working-age population will be 55 percent minority by midcentury. It may be hard to imagine the Tea Party movement becoming a Rainbow Coalition. But it's even harder to believe that minority voters will enjoy paying for the (mostly white) baby boomers' retirement and health care while they're working to support their own families.

In fact, the youngest generation is not just socially liberal, it's economically liberal as well. A February Pew study found voters under thirty far more receptive to government intervention in the economy:

This is probably not just a function of age -- voters who came of political age under Ronald Reagan held more conservative views, and those stuck with them through time. Of course, future events can always change things. If the economy reverts into recession under President Obama, the young may well turn sharply right.