PART IV: POLITICS AND SOCIETY
Increased voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election helped create movement around understanding younger voters, who in previous election cycles had been thought of as an inactive group. National research has painted Millennials as a socially-conscious generation who do not identify with the two major parties. These attributes are influenced by their goals and values in areas outside of the political realm.
For Part IV of this report, Utah Foundation set out to explore how Utah’s Millennials and other generations compared to their national peers regarding social values and political sentiment. In general, Utahns tended to follow national intergenerational trends, although levels of support or importance varied by topic. Conversely, Utah’s conservative political climate created some differences with national data.
- Utahns across all generations identified more strongly with being religious and patriotic than their national peers, while still following national trends of younger generations identifying less strongly than older generations with both characteristics (see pages 3 and 6).
- Although the percentage of Millennial and Gen X Utahns who described themselves as supporters of gay rights was higher than older generations, Latter-Day Saints across all generations had a very similar proportion of supporters (15-20%) (see page 4).
- Utahns put far more importance on being leaders in their communities than their national peers, with similar importance seen across all generations (see page 6).
While Utahns were far more likely than their national peers to identify as Republicans, the national trend of younger generations being less likely than older generations to identify as Republican held true in Utah (see page 7).
- Political party affiliation of Utah women across all generations was correlated with their marital status. Over half of married Utah Millennial women were Republican compared to one-third of unmarried Millennial women (see page 7).
- Although survey respondents overestimated their levels of voter registration and participation, national trends were reflected in Utah’s younger generations which were less likely than older generations to be registered to vote and to have voted in the 2012 and 2014 elections (see pages 8 and 9).