Millennials and Boomers may work alike, but they don’t vote alike. Or do they?

Posted On May 8, 2014

I am frequently asked whether the differences in the generations are true differences or simply differences between ages.  It is also a common belief that individuals grow more conservative as they grow older, however statistics do not necessarily bear that one out.  The Pew Research Center recently reviewed 30 years of voting trends, comparing the percent of young (age 18-29) and older (age 65+) voters who voted democratic in each election between 1972 and 2012.  With the exception of the 1972 Nixon election and the 2008 and 2012 elections of Barack Obama, the gap between the ages has only been a few percentage points.

In every year between Nixon and Obama, the percent of democratic voters was fairly consistent at both ends of age spectrum. So while Millennials and Boomers are not voting alike right now – there was a 21 percentage point gap in the 2008 election and 16 point gap in 2012, older and younger generations have more of a consistent voting record than one would think.  In fact, from 1988 through 2004, the democratic vote for both age groups hovered around 50 percent. What does this mean for the workplace?  Honestly, I’m not sure.

But what I do know is that for most of the Millennials’ lives, their supposedly “more conservative” elders have actually been voting fairly democratic.  And as the Millennials came of voting age the percent of young people voting democratic jumped to 60+ percent.

I can’t help but think that this has a correlation to the Millennial desire to “find a job you love” – the manifestation of ideas set in motion, but never quite realized, by their Boomer parents.

Categories: Baby Boomers, Generation Y / Millennials, Voting Behavior