Millennials get a crash course in conservatism at CPAC

Forty percent of the attendees at this year’s annual conference featuring conservative thought-leaders were under age 24.

Young members of Turning Point USA attend the Conservative Action Political Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland. February 24, 2018. Source: TPUSA

Oxon Hill, Md. — The Conservative Political Action Conference, held annually by the American Conservative Union, occurred Feb. 21-24 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

Thousands of conference attendees heard remarks from President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, British politician Nigel Farage, NRA executive vice president Wayne Lapierre and spokeswoman Dana Loesch, Sen. Ted Cruz, and many others. Topics like tax reform, gun control, the media, North Korea, and even the 2020 election were widely discussed.

Among those attending was a majority group of millennials, most falling in the age group of 18 to 24. The 2016 election cycle saw a race like never before, and for most millennials it was their first voting cycle. There is certainly no sign of the 2020 race being any calmer, and the millennials of CPAC say they are ready for it.

Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, created a nonprofit in 2012 dedicated to educating students about free markets, fiscal responsibility and limited government. TPUSA is present on more than 1,000 campuses, with 300 chapters alone on college campuses across the country. Kirk, a 25-year-old millennial, spoke on several panels during this year’s conference.

“Conservatives are poised to grow their majority in the Senate and maintain their House majority,” Kirk said. “The positives of the largest middle-class tax cut [in history] is winning over new voters every day. The radicals in the Democratic Party are without a message and continue to be floundering. [The] GOP will do very well in November.”

Grace Morgan, a 21-year-old Clayton, N.C. native, attended CPAC on behalf of a tax reform organization she works for in Washington, D.C.

“I believe conservatives are ready because [Republican leadership] has delivered on their promise of tax reform,” she said. “Their constituents are seeing the benefit in their paychecks and will continue to reap the benefits heading into midterm elections.”

Largely continued to tax reform, young conservatives are more than confident and ready to face 2018’s midterms.

Anna Scott Marsh is a college student and a member of the College Republicans at East Carolina University.