Opponents of old people dominating the government have an unlikely ally: baby boomers

·2 min read
Group of baby boomers laughing
kali9/Getty Images; Insider
  • Baby boomers are unlikely advocates for tearing down the country's gerontocracy, new polling indicates.

  • Baby boomers surveyed by Morning Consult/Insider were wildly in favor of instituting congressional term and age limits.

  • A hefty majority of baby boomers polled also said it would be good if more millenials and Gen Xers were in Congress.

One of the nation's oldest and most-storied generations — baby boomers — is a surprising proponent of tearing down the United States' gerontocracy, according to a new Morning Consult/Insider poll.

Survey results indicate that baby boomers — born between 1946 and 1964 — don't generally think Congress represents its best interests, and the group was quick to support ideas to limit how much influence elder members can have.

Baby boomers were enthusiastic about the idea of instituting an age limit for members of Congress, with nearly eight in 10 baby boomers saying they supported the idea.

 

 

Baby boomers were also wildly in support of adding term limits to members of Congress — nine in 10 respondents said they'd support term limits for members of the House and Senate.

 

 

And despite being on the older side themselves, more than eight in 10 baby boomers also said they think the current age of political leaders in the country was either a "major" or "minor" problem.

 

 

The survey is part of Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" project, which explores the ongoing gerontocracy in the US and its ramifications for a younger generation.

When asked what the generation's most important political issues were, baby boomers said the economy and inflation were the generation's clear top two. But when asked if they thought Congress was in touch with their needs on the two issues, baby boomers didn't hold back.

Seven in 10 baby boomers surveyed said they thought Congress was either "very" or "somewhat out of touch" with the needs of its generation regarding inflation. Nearly seven in 10 said the same about how the legislative body handles the economy.

 

 

According to an Insider analysis, Congress is as old as it's ever been, with nearly one in four members aged 70 or older.

Additionally, two of Congress' leaders, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are 80 years old or older and members of the Silent Generation, a cohort whose members were born before the end of World War II.

Polling found that the generation was also in support of more representation of younger generations in Congress.

Three-fourths of baby boomers polled said it would be a "good thing for the country" if more Gen Xers — born between 1965 and 1981 — were represented in Congress.

Two-thirds said the same thing about millennials.

The Insider/Morning Consult survey was conducted from September 8 through September 10, and had 2,210 respondents and a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points.

 

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