4 Things to Know About 'Millennials'

They do more than text

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One reason conservative pundits were worried about the aging of the GOP derives from a Pew poll about the Millennial generation. The poll examines the habits of today's young adults, who began to come of age around the year 2000. What do we know about this cohort, which is just beginning to make an impact on society?

  • They're Independently Religious  Though this generation seems secular, Politics Daily's Jeffrey Weiss notices that the number of Millennials who believe in God with "absolute certainty" has remained fairly consistent with the previous generation. Weiss interprets that "young adults are not losing faith, just unplugging from religious institutions at a rate unprecedented in U.S. history."
  • They're Liberal  Though Millennials seem to be pulling away from the Democratic party recently, blogger Jamelle--a Millennial, in fact--reminds readers that they are still "far more likely to identify themselves as liberals than any other age group."
  • Democrats Should Court Them, says The Washington Post's E. J. Dionne. These self-identified liberals are ripe for the picking, and Obama and the Democrats are foolish to ignore them, he argues. "The young helped them rise to power and can just as easily usher them to early retirements. Obama cannot afford to break their hearts."
  • Pew Is Obsessed With Them  A number of commentators have noticed that Pew went above and beyond the call of polling, creating an amusing "How 'Millennial' Are You?" quiz. Questions focus on TV-watching habits, cell phones, texting, and tattoos. Sara Libby at True/Slant thinks Pew is getting "Gen Y-crazy" (she uses the other term for the generation). True/Slant neighbor J. Maureen Henderson says Pew has overstretched the definition of "generation":
The issue is that Millennial no longer (indeed, if it ever did) simply refers to individuals born during a particular span of years. It has narrowed to represent a certain set of behaviors, attributes and attitudes.
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