Today's Teens Might Be Tomorrow's Conservatives
NYT's Upshot: They're coming of age in lousy times, with Democrats in control
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2014 7:34 PM CDT
Will most of today's teens be wearing these in a few decades?   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – The Upshot blog of the New York Times has an analysis sure to cheer the hearts of today's conservatives, and it's all rooted in one simple fact: The voters of tomorrow are coming of age in a generally lousy time with Democrats in control of the White House, writes David Leonhardt. Forget the "largely useless cliche" that people are liberal when young and turn conservative as they grow older. Generally speaking, generations remain consistent in their politics from youth to old age, and what was happening when they first became aware politically is a big factor in determining whether they'll lean left or right.

Leonhardt points out that the youngest voters in the next presidential election will have been born in 1998. Millennials might be old enough to remember that some of today's problems are rooted in the Bush years, but not these younger voters. They've become politically conscious in an era when economic growth has been stagnant and the world's problems ever-growing. “We’re in a period in which the federal government is simply not performing, and that can't be good for Democrats," says an analyst with the Pew Research Center. How Obama fares in the remainder of his term will affect more than the 2016 election, writes Leonhardt. The president's performance will "cast a shadow" over the 2024 campaign and beyond. Click to read the full post.