The Pew Research Center released a study Tuesday that found younger generations tend to call themselves independent instead of Democratic or Republican.
The percentage of Americans who call themselves independents has reached a high of 39 percent. In contrast, only 32 percent of Americans identify as Democrats and 23 percent of Americans identify as Republicans.
Gary Pearce, a Democratic political consultant, said he thinks people are becoming independents because of an overall distaste with the political system.
“What it probably reflects is disgust with politics more than anything else,” he said. “And I think that disgust is universal.”
Many millennials who are independents — 86 percent — lean toward a party, but do not want to claim party affiliation. Of all independents, 48 percent usually vote Democratic, while 39 percent tend to vote Republican.
Tony Liu, president of UNC Young Democrats, found the issue troubling but understandable.
“The lack of willingness to identify as a Democrat as a political identity stems from a lot of the youth’s disillusion with our national politics,” he said.
Liu said he thinks Democratic candidates need to show college-age voters how their platform relates to them.