Bernie Is Turning Millennials More Liberal—Maybe

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According to the latest Harvard IOP poll, young folks are becoming increasingly liberal:

Polling director John Della Volpe thinks this is all due to the Bernie Sanders effect:

“He’s not moving a party to the left. He’s moving a generation to the left,” Della Volpe said of the senator from Vermont. “Whether or not he’s winning or losing, it’s really that he’s impacting the way in which a generation — the largest generation in the history of America — thinks about politics.”

….It’s rare, Della Volpe said, for young people’s attitudes to change much from year to year in Harvard’s polling, and even more remarkable for so many of these measures to shift in the same direction at the same time.

Maybe! But young voters have been trending more liberal and more Democratic ever since the Bush presidency. It may be rare for Harvard to see young voters turn more liberal on so many issues at once in a single year, but I’ll bet it’s also rare for their poll to be done right smack in the middle of a presidential campaign focused on precisely these issues. Bottom line: I know I’m an innately cautious guy, but even so I’d hold off on the “moving a generation to the left” cheerleading until we get at least a few years of steady progress in these numbers.

In other Harvard IOP news, young voters prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump by a huge margin. I don’t think anyone is going to argue about that.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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