Move over, Millennials. Gen Z is heading for Congress.
The Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as people born between 1997 and 2012. That means the oldest Zs are turning 25 this year, the minimum age to serve in the U.S. House. And they are coming.
Conservative pollster and strategist Kristin Soltis Anderson (a Millenial) says Gen Z politicians have a new way of doing things than those in her generation. “The frame has shifted from, ‘I’m going to bring about that change by being someone who looks for opportunities to work across the aisle,’ and more, ‘I’m going to disrupt the institutions and systems that are allowing the other side to continue to prevail,'” she said.
But which institutions Gen Z is going to disrupt remains a question. Though early voting trends show Gen Z leaning liberal, Republicans seem to be the party elevating and encouraging younger candidates. This has been a key part of the conservative strategy for judges, so it makes sense that they would follow a similar path for Congress. But even without the party push, Democratic candidates are still pushing their way through.
The upcoming midterm election is only the first election featuring Gen Z candidates, but it could give us signs for what is to come. If this generation pumps out candidates on both sides of the aisle and Anderson is right about the coming Gen Z disruption, we could be looking at a generation full of much more deadlock than we’re seeing now.
Did anyone think THAT was possible?