Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has a selfie taken with a young audience member after speaking at Dartmouth College on January 14, 2016. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)

Sen. Bernie Sanders has a selfie taken with a young audience member after speaking at Dartmouth College on January 14, 2016. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)

"We're Screwed": GOP Pollster Laments Losing Millennial Voters to Socialism and Sanders

"We have lost. It's not like we are losing, we have lost that generation."

Lauren McCauley

The future of the Republican Party is "screwed," as one delegate put it after being informed by GOP pollster Frank Luntz that conservatives have "lost" an entire generation of voters.

The comments were overheard by a reporter for the The Hill during a breakfast event Tuesday for the South Carolina delegation to the Republican National Convention (RNC), which is being held this week in Cleveland, Ohio.

"We have lost. It's not like we are losing, we have lost that generation. And I don't care if you are a Democrat, Republican, independent, none of the above. The fact that 58 percent [of millennials] say socialism is the better form of economics, that is the damage of academia," Luntz reportedly said.

Rather than contemplate how a party that has systematically dismantled the rights of women and minorities, and refuses to acknowledge the reality of climate change, is waning in popularity, the prominent conservative pollster blamed the loss on brainwashing by liberal educators.

"The No. 1 priority to me is what happens at universities. And yes, Capitol Hill matters, yes politics matter, but a whole generation is being taught by professors who voted for Bernie Sanders," he continued. "That's a problem that begs for a solution."

Luntz is correct in one regard. Youth voters overwhelmingly flocked to Sanders during his bid for the Democratic nomination, throwing their support behind his platform of free college education, expanded social security, healthcare for all, and a swift transition to renewable energy, among other measures. Even after endorsing frontrunner Hillary Clinton, polls continued to show his support runs deep among millennial voters.

During his talk, Luntz reportedly jabbed Sanders' campaign promises, joking to the delegates: "My goal was to be the secretary of agriculture in the Sanders administration because I wanted to be the one to plant those magic trees that free stuff grows from."

In a May op-ed entitled "Why Millennials Love Bernie Sanders," The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur helped break down young people's fascination with the senator from Vermont. "Millennials are also a massively progressive generation," he wrote. "Sanders is as progressive as they are, but not because he crafted a slick political message to appeal to the younger generation. It's because he is a true progressive who believed in these principles even when they were horribly out of fashion. He fought for them not out of expediency but out of conviction. That’s the thing about authenticity—you can't fake it."

"Are we seriously asking why young people don't like the contrived politicians who are awash in donor money, privilege, and connections?" Uygur continued. "The problem in our politics today isn’t the younger generation. The problem is what the older generations have grown accustomed to and now meekly accept as fact."

Indeed, as one delegate reportedly "muttered under his breath" as Luntz spoke on Tuesday: "We're screwed."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

First Stop for Cuellar After FBI Raid? An Anti-Choice Event

"Despite being under an FBI investigation," said progressive primary challenger Jessica Cisneros, the congressman from Texas "has once again proven that nothing can stop him from opposing our reproductive rights and freedoms."

Brett Wilkins ·


House Calls Big Oil Board Members to Testify on 'Phony' Net-Zero Pledges

"It's critical that Congress holds these companies accountable and exposes the industry's fake climate pledges for the fraud that they are," said one supporter of Democrats' probe.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Time for Citizens United to Go': US Oligarchs Poured $1.2 Billion Into 2020 Elections

The figure represents a 39-fold increase compared to spending in 2010, the first election held after the widely decried ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Praised for $15 Minimum Wage Hike for All Federal Workers

"Setting a new $15 per hour wage floor for federal government work will encourage employers across the country who are currently paying poverty wages to compete for labor and start paying fairer rates."

Brett Wilkins ·


Sotomayor Excoriates Majority for 'Egregious' Attack on Texas Women

"This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies," said the justice. "I will not stand by silently as a state continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo