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The Daily Tar Heel
View from the Hill

New statistics show young voter trends

The Pew Research Center released new statistics about millennials, which showed that while young voters agree with demographics, they shun labels.

The study showed that 50 percent of millennials, whose age ranges from 18 to 35, identify as political independents — much higher than 32 percent of Baby Boomers and 39 percent of Generation X.

But when asked about political views, younger voters are seen as being more in line with Democrats. Forty-eight percent of millennials say their views on political issues are more liberal and 57 percent say their views on social issues are more liberal.

Younger voters are shown to overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage — 68 percent. And 69 percent say they support legalizing marijuana.

But there are some points of divergence from the liberal line among young voters. While 56 percent say abortion should be legal in all cases, 49 percent say gun control is more important than protecting Second Amendment rights.

Young people also have mixed views on health care, with 54 percent disapproving of the Affordable Care Act, but the same number say the government should be responsible for universal coverage.

This view of health care is in line with a slim majority of millenials, 53 percent of whom say there should be bigger government with more services, with the same number saying more services should go to younger people.

At the same time, young people say that there should not be reductions to Social Security benefits while also saying there will be no benefits when they retire.

These mixed views on issues like health care and guns might be what are keeping younger, left-leaning voters from labeling themselves as Democrats.

While they might support expanding government services, they might not approve of the way Democrats are going about it. Similarly, their support for same-sex marriage might be more personally-driven than by party platforms.

View from the Hill is a political blog by Daily Tar Heel staff writers. Any opinion expressed in it does not represent the Daily Tar Heel. Email the blog coordinator at dthviewfromthehill@gmail.com.

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