Republicans must do better among voters under thirty if they hope to capture the White House. In 2012, these young people comprised just 19% of the electorate, but provided Obama with his entire margin of victory. Among the 81% of voters over thirty, Mitt Romney won a majority, but with under-thirties Obama scored a decisive 23-point margin.
To avoid repeating this pattern, conservatives must drop slogans like “Take Our Country Back”—young people don’t want to go back, they want to go forward. We should emphasize future reforms, not issues of the past, like Obamacare and gay marriage. Let’s improve the health insurance for tomorrow, not just repeal a program that was imposed yesterday. On marriage, we should strengthen traditional man-woman marriages, not threaten to undo those same sex marriages that already exist.
To win young people, conservatives must face the future boldly, not to try to recapture the recent past.
The recent past, after all, wasn’t really that great in the first place–particularly as we recall the leadership of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.