Gen Z voters urge Republicans not to 'sleep on' the young vote: 'We're still up for the pickings' (2024)

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Gen Z voters warn Republicans: 'Don't sleep' on our vote

Gen Z voters Evita Duffy-Alfonso, Rikki Schlott and Christian Hodges tell Fox News' Carley Shimkus why GOP candidates should strive to appeal to their generation's voters and which 2024 hopefuls appeal to them most.

Gen Z voters made their case to 2024 GOP hopefuls Monday on "," sharing their top picks for the presidency and urging conservative candidates not to write off young voters as inevitably left-leaning.

"By the 2028 election cycle, half of all eligible voters will be either millennials or Gen Z, and I think that there's just a lot of issues that Republicans are kind of abdicating to the left because they think that young people are an unwinnable progressive monolith, but I would argue that's not entirely true," New York Post columnist Rikki Schlott told Fox News' Carley Shimkus.

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Gen Z voters urge Republicans not to 'sleep on' the young vote: 'We're still up for the pickings' (2)

The Republican Party (GOP) elephant mascot sits on display in the exhibition hall during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

"One in five Gen Z'ers are registered Republicans and then about half are independents, so we're still up for the pickings."

She added that some issues, including finances, can be reframed to better appeal to Gen Z, one example being the issue of saving money for a down payment instead of for retirement.

Evita Duffy-Alfonso, a writer for The Federalist and also a Gen Z voter, said her number one issue is the economy.

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Gen Z voters urge Republicans not to 'sleep on' the young vote: 'We're still up for the pickings' (3)

Gen Z voters urged the GOP not to overlook their generation, adding that social media is an ideal way to enhance their outreach. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

"People – Gen Z specifically – they can't afford their groceries, let alone pay for a house. I'm newly married. We can't buy a house because the interest rates are really high, and the interest rates are really high because inflation is high and inflation is high because of reckless Democrat spending," she said.

"This is a really easy thing for Republicans to point out to Gen Z'ers who were alive during the Trump years and who knew what it was like and how well it was doing and can compare that to now."

Duffy-Alfonso said Republicans are falling short in capitalizing on young voters' social media use, an area where innovative outreach is key. Platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where North Carolina Rep. Jeff Jackson, D., is credited with investing some time, are key to reaching the sought-after group.

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Gen Z voters urge Republicans not to 'sleep on' the young vote: 'We're still up for the pickings' (4)

One panelist praised 2024 candidate Vivek Ramaswamy for his job of speaking to young people. (SERGIO FLORES/AFP via Getty Images)

"There's no reason for Republicans to not be messaging to young people on social media, and they're just not doing it…" she said. "I don't know what it is, but for some reason they are they're not actually doing a good job of reaching out to young voters."

The third member of Monday's panel, Gen Z voter Christian Hodges, said a crucial component of conservative icon Ronald Reagan's landslide victory over Jimmy Carter in 1980 was winning the support of younger voters.

"Trump has to do the same thing in 2024 or whoever the GOP candidates for that matter," he said. "I think they have to appeal to starting a new family by adding affordable housing, tax cuts, things that benefit someone starting a career."

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Though the answers weren't clear, panelists tossed around Vivek Ramaswamy's name as one of the most appealing among the growing field of candidates.

"As an independent in New York, unfortunately, I don't get my primary vote. If I could, I think right now Vivek Ramaswamy is doing the best job among the Republicans of speaking to young people," Schlott said.

Duffy-Alfonso declined to say her preference, but said she likes Ramaswamy, Trump and DeSantis.

Hodges said he prefers Trump, but added that Ramaswamy should not be counted out.

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Taylor Penley is an associate editor with Fox News.

Gen Z voters urge Republicans not to 'sleep on' the young vote: 'We're still up for the pickings' (2024)
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