An interesting New York Times piece explores college-aged Republicans and their changing views on social issues. A number of students interviewed for the story were leaders of conservative campus clubs, and held a range of views on abortion and gay marriage, from liberal to conservative. But even the socially conservative students wanted to downplay these issues in favor of the economy for now. From the NYT:
Matt Hoagland, the county leader of a group of young North Carolina Republicans, is busy trying to ramp up enthusiasm for Mitt Romney at the grass-roots level. So there are a few things he avoids mentioning to prospective young voters he wants to woo, including the hot-button topics like abortion and same-sex marriage, which have dominated campaigns past.
“Social issues are far down the priorities list, and I think that’s the trend,” Mr. Hoagland, 27, said. “That’s where it needs to go if the Republican Party is going to be successful.”
Zoey Kotzambasis, vice president of the College Republicans at the University of Arizona, considers herself a conservative. But she supports both same-sex marriage and abortion rights. Those are not just her opinions.
“A lot of the College Republicans I know share the same liberal-to-moderate social views,” she added. “And I think that’s changing the face of the party.”
In a break from generations past and with an eye toward the future, many of the youngest leaders of the Republican Party are embracing views on some social issues that are at odds with traditional conservative ideology — if they mention such issues at all, according to interviews, experts and some polling.
Read the full story here.