A new Gallup analysis of party identification, compiled from their national polling over the last five months, paints an astonishing picture of how party ID spreads across every age group from 18 to 85 — and a very tough demographic picture for the Republican Party:
Democrats outpace the GOP across every age group, but the gap varies from one cohort to another, with the greatest differences among the Baby Boomers and Generation Y. The GOP nearly achieves parity among Generation X (ages 30-44), people in their late 60s, and the 85-year old group.
The pollster’s analysis goes through several theories, noting that younger voters often tend to be more liberal. But one interesting hypothesis is floated, noting the extent of these differences and where they occur: That these groups are heavily influenced by the eras when they came of political age, — the Baby Boomers in the 60s, Generation X in the Reagan/Bush Sr. years, etc. And it should be noted that Generation Y came of age during the George W. Bush years, and have now entered the Obama period.