“The GOP has a lot of really good policy, a lot of winning policies, but it does seem like often we can get caught up on the losing ones and fight like hell for them,” said Cameron Adkins, a sophomore who is vice president of College Republicans at Columbia University. “When in reality, they’re losing issues with the American people.”
Thirty-one percent of voters ages 18 to 24 supported Trump in November, according to exit polls, down from 37 percent in 2016. The Generation Z bloc, born after 1996, makes up at least 10 percent of the U.S. population, according to a report by the Brookings Institution, and it will only grow as the next election approaches.
Adkins, 19, said he hopes the party can expand its reach by continuing to make priorities of core social issues, such as guns and abortion, while embracing a rapidly diversifying electorate by toning down its rhetoric around racial injustice, which research shows young people tend to be more tapped into.
“We should be attempting to expand our reaches, even if it does cost us” some of the more traditional Republican voters, he said. “I guess I’m willing to lose as long as we’re doing the right thing.”