Generation Gap

How big is the partisan/ideological gap between younger and older generations?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. There is an old saying that goes like this, "if you are not liberal when you are 20 you have no heart, and if you are not conservative when you are 50 you have no brain." Do you agree with this statement?

  4. Do you think you will get more conservative as you age?

  5. Do you think that the Silent Generation and the Baby Boomer generation got more conservative as they aged, or do you think these generations simply started more conservative than the others to begin with?

  6. Explain whether this data supports the idea that older people are more conservative than younger people.

  7. Why do you think old people are, in general, more conservative than young people?

  8. Which is more surprising and funny; a super-conservative 12 year old or an ultra-liberal 88 year old?

  9. Explain whether you think your generation will become more conservative as it ages.

  10. What is one consequence of this ideological generation gap on US politics?

  11. Do you imagine that the next generation of kids (under 18) will be even more liberal than Millennials?

  12. What is one specific policy difference that a member of the Silent Generation and the Millennial Generation would probably have?

  13. What is one political belief or opinion that the Silent Generation and the Millennial Generation would probably share?

  14. The share of liberal democrats in the US population has increased steadily since 2000. Why do you think that is?

  15. Although there are more liberals and Democrats than there are conservatives and Republicans, there is a Republican majority Congress and a Republican White House. Why do you think that is?

  16. Creative Time: Make up a name for the generation after the Millennials. Share your answer in the comments section:


Learning Extension

Read the Pew report on our current political generation gap.


Action Extension

Find one person of each generation and ask them where they fit on the partisan/ideological spectrum. Share your insights online or in class.


Bonus Charts