Forget the ’60s—The Real Generation Gap Is Happening Right Now

Since the election last month, we have seen a parade of analyses examining how Clinton supporters differ from Trump supporters along the dividing lines of race, education, and geographic residence. The persistence of partisan differences by age in American elections, however, has received somewhat less attention. …

Hillary Clinton may have lacked Obama’s (and Bernie Sanders’s) personal appeal among younger voters, but she still carried the under-30 vote by an 18-point margin over Trump according to the 2016 exit polls, while voters over the age of 45 collectively opted for Trump by 9 points—confirming that the contemporary political generation gap will outlast the Obama era. This is a significant divide by historical standards. None of the 1960s-era elections produced a comparable partisan difference, despite the decade’s prominent youth-led protest movements and memorable “don’t trust anyone over 30” rhetoric. CONT.

David A. Hopkins, Boston College