This study examines the extremely large generation gap in support for Donald Trump. Unquestionably, the generational gap in Twenty-First century American politics predates Trump. Yet, prior to the 2016 presidential election, it was widely held that any potential Republican nominee for president would have to do considerably better among Millennials than John McCain and Mitt Romney to have a chance of winning the general election. Instead of trying to woo younger Americans, however, Donald Trump's campaign to "Make America Great Again" suggests that his campaign stoked fears about generational societal change, and in doing so, overtly focused on winning the votes of older Americans nostalgic for the country of their youth. Problematically, since generation correlates with other demographic characteristics, the generation gap is in Trump's support may simply be a result of other divisions in American politics, such as race, education, religion, and gender. A multivariate analysis utilizing data from the Pew Research Center, however, demonstrates this is not the case. Generation is a robust predictor of presidential approval for Trump on its own. Consequently, Trump's lack of appeal to younger Americans, after Barack Obama so successfully wooed them, has become a defining characteristic of contemporary American politics.
"The Generational Gap in Presidential Approval for Donald Trump,"
Journal of Political Science: Vol. 47
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.coastal.edu/jops/vol47/iss1/3
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