Obama Losing Millennials to Republicans That Support Gay Rights

Celebrating “420” or “Weed Day” can make old Republicans who perceive the day as society’s progression toward liberal ways furious. But they should know millennials are more politically conservative than they think.

Obama leads in millennial voter totals by just 7 points to Romney, 18 points lower than his totals in 2008, reports Politico. This drop highlights the millennials’ heavy concerns regarding the economic downturn and increased support for LGBT rights. This trend to the right is not just seen in millennials. Since the 2010 midterm elections, more LGBT voters have begun picking Republicans at the polls. 

“Swing voters who gave the Democrats their victories in 2006 and 2008 swung back to Republicans,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, at a Hofstra University event Wednesday. “That included LGBT voters.”

According to exit polls done by CNN, 27% of self-identified LGBT voters picked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) over Obama in 2008. That number jumped in 2010, with 31% of LGBT voters siding with the Republicans at the midterm elections.

Away from the polls, Cooper says the face of Republican Party continues to change due to millennials’ increasing support for LGBT issues. A Pew Research Center survey released in February shows millennials most supportive of same-sex marriage at 61% compared to the Baby Boomer generation at 40% and the Silent generation, born 1928-1945, at 32%. 

“It is a younger conservative who understands that the path to victory is freedom for all,” said Cooper.

Staff members representing the GOP on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill are changing the views of older politicians. This is particularly evident in the same Pew survey that showed the Baby Boomer's increased support for gay marriage of 14% in a matter of 15 years.

“The staff tends to be at a minimum agnostic [of LGBT issues], if not supportive in a way that surpasses where their bosses are,” said Cooper.

As LGBT rights and the Republican platform grow closer together, the Log Cabin Republicans popularity continues to increase. The organization has 44 chapters and major congressional candidates like Richard Tisei, who is running against eight-term Democrat John Tierney in Massachusetts; and Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu, who represents a critical state for the Republicans in terms of Hispanic voters. With these candidates, Cooper says the Log Cabin Republicans’ main goal is to put a Republican majority in Congress.

“We’re the future of the party and we’re helping the party stay relevant,” said Cooper. “If anything is going to move forward, you need us.”