As far as generational typecasting goes, Gen X considers themselves to be tough, no-nonsense people.
Born between 1965 and 1980, they were latch-key kids brought up by Boomers. They’re firmly middle-aged — 43 years old at the younger end of the scale and 58 at the older end — and raising Gen Z kids.
In many ways, they’ve drifted far from the ideals of their youth. Fiercely independent Gen-Xers came of age amidst punk and grunge, but now, they’re more politically conservative than other generations.
Gen X is ‘the most Republican of the generations,’ holding the highest disapproval rating of President Biden.
According to polling from NPR, PBS NewsHour, and Marist, Gen X is far ahead of other generations in terms of how much they disapprove of the sitting President. Biden’s disapproval rating is highest among Gen X, at 62%.
Biden’s disapproval rating among the Silent Generation and Boomers was recorded at 48%, and 50% from Gen Z and Millennials.
The same polling found that Biden has the highest “strongly disapprove” rating from Gen X, as compared to other generations, at 52%. In contrast, the President’s “strongly disapprove” rating was 41% from the Silent Generation, 39% from Boomers, and 35% from Gen Z and Millennials.
Psychology professor Jean Twenge told NPR that “Gen X is the most Republican of the generations.”
Twenge noted that generational political leanings are often influenced by the popularity of whoever was president when members were in their teens or young adult years. For Gen X, those presidents were Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan — an unpopular Democrat and a revered Republican.
She also shared that Gen X is smaller than other generations and they’ve had lower political and voter participation than both Boomers and Millennials.
Gen X seems to be stuck in the political middle: They’re less conservative than Boomers, and less progressive than Millennials and Gen Zers.
The younger generations aren’t the only ones struggling in our down-spiraling economy, yet they’re more vocal and more critical of our existing inequitable systems.
Gen X also feels the effects of rising costs of living and lack of employment, along with concerns about sending their kids to college, supporting their aging parents, and saving for their own retirements, yet their apparent response has skewed towards conservatism.
As political analyst Amy Walter explained, “You’re feeling every squeeze of modern society at this age in your life, which most people in their 40s and 50s do feel.” She also noted that members of Gen X “saw their parents doing well or making a decent life that they feel like they weren’t able to have the same access to.”
Walter explained that ultra-conservative messaging, like Trump’s fear-mongering proclamation to “Make America Great Again,” resonates more with older white voters than people of color — and white people comprise 60% of the Gen X.
The US stands at a true turning point in our political and cultural landscape. As November of 2024 nears closer and people plan to head to the polls, it feels as though our entire future is at stake. In many ways, it is.
Now is the time to decide how we want to support each other. We can choose whether we’re leaning into compassionate tolerance or closing ourselves off. We are the ones who shape this world we share.
Let’s build the home we want, one that provides for everyone.
Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango’s news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.