broning11_LIONEL BONAVENTUREAFP via Getty Images_young voters far-right LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images

Are the Kids Leaning Right?

It has long been assumed that younger voters will tend to support progressive and left-leaning parties, irrespective of the specific issues at stake in any given election. But though this pattern has been borne out historically, it is far from being an iron law, and recent trends suggest that it may be changing.

NEW YORK – For decades, young people’s leftward leanings were considered an iron law of politics. “If people are not conservative at 40, they have no head,” Winston Churchill probably never said, “but if they are not liberal at 20, they have no heart.” From John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair to Barack Obama and Jacinda Ardern, the leading lights of the left have regularly built political careers on the promise of youthful progressivism.