A new Gallup poll finds a growing number of millennials and a steady share of Generation X identifying as political independents, suggesting that emerging voters are less likely to identify as Republicans or Democrats.
Gallup reported Thursday that 52% of millennials identify as independents, up from 47% in 2012 and 42% in 2002.
This year, 27% of Americans aged 26 to 41 identify as Democrats and 21% identify as Republicans, both down slightly from a decade ago.
The poll found that 44% of Generation X respondents identify as independents, the same share who said so in 1992 after a slight dip to 39% in 2002 and a slight peak of 45% in 2012.
Among Americans aged 42 to 57, 30% now identify as Republicans and 27% as Democrats.
Gallup reported that these generations “will still likely have higher proportions of independents than members of their preceding generations had at similar points in their lives,” breaking a trend of Americans identifying more firmly with a party as they age.
Over the past 30 years, Gallup reported that baby boomers and members of the Silent Generation have become more likely to switch from independent to Republican.
From 1992 to 2022, Gallup found the share of Americans born from 1946 to 1964 who identify as independents fell from 40% to 33%, “with most of that change offset by an increase in Republican identification, from 29% to 35%.”
During the same period, the share of Silent Generation adults identifying as political independents decreased from 35% to 26%, “accompanied by an equal increase in Republican identification” among those born between 1928 and 1945.
The share of both older generations identifying as Democrats has remained “relatively stable” for three decades, Gallup reported.
Gallup conducted its randomized national telephone survey of 6,565 adults from January through July. The margin of error for all respondents was plus or minus 1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level.