Political trend line: young white millennials are basically libertarians. Can they save the GOP?

The electoral map isn’t very favorable to the GOP, and their strategy/culture isn’t either, and while they may do OK in the midterms — midterms typically favor the non-Presidential party anyway — their 2016 prospects look dim at present. But ah ha! Just like the conventional narratives of “future voters we need to sway” has included “minorities” and “Hispanics” and “spiritual but not religious,” there’s a new group now too: young white millennials who are essentially libertarians. Could they save the GOP’s national hopes? After all, if young liberals truly own the future of electoral politics, then the GOP needs to do something to adapt, right? Cue Salon:

Frank Luntz is probably studying all of these people right now, because this is your future Republican Party base! The idea horrifies many contemporary movement conservatives — this generation has absolutely no interest in your Tough, Muscular Foreign Policy, sorry Bill Kristol — but the Kochs of the world will be fine. Millennials aren’t even much more liberal than older votes on gun control and abortion. That’s like half the GOP platform, right? They’ll barely have to change a word.

(*Laugh track*) But seriously, this is interesting. There seems to be no path to 270 for a 2016 Republican. But what if Rand Paul, off the 2014 CPAC straw poll win, was the guy? Could that capture the hearts and minds of young libertarians living in their childhood bedroom since their college graduation of 2011? Mayhaps. Trend lines are indeed developing.

Ted Bauer