Which Age Group is Most Likely to Vote GOP in 2022? Gen-Xers, of Course!

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Every pollster and writer is analyzing this upcoming election to death. From the early predictions of a red wave to the Democrats’ summer momentum shift to the tide turning back toward the GOP, we’ve written reams about it (and yes, I’m including us here at PJ Media in that statement).


One bit of analysis from a recent New York Times poll caught my attention. It’s a grouping of voters by age based on the question, “Which party’s candidate are you most likely to vote for in this year’s election for Congress?”

New York Times

There’s a particular cohort of what I’d call middle-aged people — those aged 45 to 64 — who quite dramatically favor the GOP over Democratic candidates. This age group almost singlehandedly gives the Republicans that slight advantage in the New York Times/Siena poll.

It doesn’t exactly line up with generational definitions, but that age group encapsulates most of Generation X and a few younger Baby Boomers.

And the strong Gen X-ish trend toward the GOP is turning heads.

When you dig a little deeper into the crosstabs of the poll, you’ll see that Gen-Xers (etc.) are most likely to see the economy as the biggest issue facing Americans, the most likely to support Donald Trump in a 2024 rematch with Joe Biden, and the largest to strongly disapprove (and net disapprove in general) of the job Biden is doing as president. This age group is also the most pessimistic about the direction of the country


For Our VIPs: When Will Generation X Get a Chance to Lead?

In addition to the impressive showing by Gen-Xers and their slightly older siblings, it’s entertaining to watch the New York Times polish the turd on these poll results. Here are a couple of samples of Nate Cohn’s analysis of his paper’s own poll:

Our poll may show Republicans ahead, 49-45, and yet it may not be accurate to say they lead by four points. In fact, they actually lead by three points.

How is this possible? Rounding. By convention, pollsters round the results to the nearest whole number. In this poll, the exact unrounded figures are 48.51 (rounding to 49) to 45.47 (rounding to 45). That’s a three-point lead…

The two rounding errors add up to an even larger disparity between the reported and actual result when it comes to the difference between likely and registered voters. The rounded result makes it seem to be a four-point gap. In reality, the difference is a 2.5-point gap…

Characterizing this poll as a four-point Republican lead doesn’t merely offer a false sense of precision — it’s just false.


That’s right. Cohn basically says, “Here’s the data from our own poll, but it’s not what you think.”

Sure, Nick. Tell yourself whatever makes you feel better. But I digress.

It’s worth noting that this is just one poll, and a million things can happen in the few weeks we have left before the election. But, if a red wave is going to happen, it looks like Gen-Xers are going to play a big role in making it happen.

Go, Gen X!


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