GEN X FILES

Friday, October 31, 1997

Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, founder and president, the Polling Company, and David Serrano-Sewell, special assistant to the mayor of San Francisco, discuss Generation X-- the 54 million Americans born between 1965 and 1978 and their attitudes toward government and politics.

Recorded on Friday, October 31, 1997

ROBINSON Welcome to Uncommon Knowledge. I'm Peter Robinson. Generation X, the 54 million Americans born between 1965 and 1978. It's a generation that's known neither war nor depression and that has attitudes fundamentally different from any generation that's gone before. One of those attitudes- suspicion of government. Consider social security. Franklin Roosevelt enacted social security in 1935 and fifty years later, Ronald Reagan promised young Americans that social security still would be functioning when they retired. Generation X isn't buying. In fact, in a recent poll- and this is true- nearly twice as many Generation Xers believed in the existence of UFO's- piloted perhaps by cousins of my little magenta friend here- than believed that social security will still be sending out checks by the time they retire. Now, what implications does Generation X have for the American political system? With us today, two guests. Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, a Republican, is the chairman of the Polling Company. She believes Generation X was made for the Republican party. David Serrano-Sewell is the Special Assistant to the Mayor of San Francisco. He believes America's youngest adult generation belongs in America's oldest political party, the Democratic Party. At stake? Well, the party that wins the allegiance of Generation X wins the future of the country.

GEN X FILES
ROBINSON What is it that makes Generation X different from previous generations including my own generation, that is to say, what in their life experiences makes them different? You're a pollster. What sets these people apart?

FITZPATRICK What sets them apart are their cultural experiences. For every generation there are things that are generational meaning you can expect every group of young people at that given age to be behaving a certain way, to be concerned about certain clusters of issues. But there are other matters which are a sign of the times and that's where my interest in Generation X lies. If you look at just their cultural experiences growing up as kids of the 80's even though some of them were born in the 1960's, most of them in the 70's, they grew up in the Reagan-Bush years of the 80', Mom and Dad both in the workplace, 40 percent of them living in a single-parent household by the age of 16, the divorce rate has tripled during their youth, during their lifetime, and at the same time you had the welfare state increasing. You basically have removed the perceived need for Dad in the home. That has had a tremendous impact on this generation. In addition, they were weaned on color television, they're the fastest growing users of the Internet, they're used to instant results and that effects their view of government as well.

ROBINSON Okay. Now, you said you've removed the need for Dad. Explain that a little bit.

FITZPATRICK They've removed the perceived need for Dad.

ROBINSON The expectation for Dad?

FITZPATRICK I certainly don't think the need was removed. Sure, because there were three factors that converged at one time.

ROBINSON Government takes care of them. Their own father is out of the house.

FITZPATRICK Absolutely. You can replace your big daddy with Big Brother because the welfare state and the great society programs will continue to sustain you. At the same time Mom is out in the workplace because she's spinning Helen Reddy records telling her she is woman, she can work, she can raise her kids by herself, ignore men, and at the same time the third factor is that no-fault divorce came into play in all 50 states so it became easier to get of, out of a marriage.

ROBINSON So these are people who are primarily conditioned by the sexual revolution, family breakup, high divorce rates, both parents working and big government. Is that a fair summary?

ROBINSON Go ahead, David.

SERRANO I think Generation X wants the, they want the same...

ROBINSON And high tech, excuse me.

SERRANO And the high tech. They want the same things that their parents wanted. They want the same things that every American wants which is a safe home, which are safe streets, safe schools. They want economic prosperity. They want to have some sort of job security and while they're experiences are certainly different, I don't think their values are or their goals.

ROBINSON You don't think so?

SERRANO No, not when it's all set down.

ROBINSON This is American generation fundamentally like any other generation.

SERRANO Absolutely. It's different and it's unique just as my parent's generation was but when it's all said and done we want the same things our parents wanted.

FITZPATRICK Their values actually seem to be more akin to their grandparent's values than their parents' values and that, that's a point that's under great study by many people.

ROBINSON Now, I have to tell you that that I find a baffling statement. Their grandparents would be say my Dad's generation. I'm older than Generation X myself. By the time my Father was your age, the two of you are roughly the same age, he had experienced the Great Depression and spent three years on a ship in the Pacific Ocean at war. That is adversity in a major way quite unlike anything that Generation X has ever had to face.

FITZPATRICK Well, that's true. They have faced very few challenges and they have faced very few galvanizing issues as a generation. They...

ROBINSON So how are their values the same as that of...?

FITZPATRICK Well, their values, I don't think any of that effects any of their core values which are if you ask Generation X who are your role models, they come up with family members first followed by friends followed by don't know, but the classic role models like athletes and movie stars are way down the list. They'll come up with a clergy member which startles many, many people or a teacher and this is something, there is a sort of quiet revolution about them. They are not, the bra burning and the flag burning that sustained their Moms and Dads is not their way of...

ROBINSON Oh, I see. Okay, so what you're sort of edging toward is a latent conservatism here.

FITZPATRICK It's a latent conservatism but it's also is libertarianism. If I could choose five words to define the generation it actually would be tolerant, multi-cultural...

ROBINSON Tolerant.

FITZPATRICK ...entrepreneurial...

ROBINSON Entrepreneurial.

FITZPATRICK Libertarian and self-reliant. With self-reliant slash Internet because it's all really, we've to find some way to harness all that into this idea that they're not going to, they're unanchored to every institution. They're not going to be going to the workplace.

ROBINSON Now, as to the question of how this generation fits into the American political scene in the years to come, what I want to do is have dueling parties. Why do the Democrats appeal on this issue? Why do the Republicans appeal on that issue? And I'd like to just cascade through some issues and see what each of you has to say. What, as we begin now, what's the...

SERRANO Before we, I want to say one thing.

ROBINSON Sure, go ahead.

SERRANO I don't think either party, Republican or Democrat, can lay claim to Generation X. They're issues-orientated, you know. Both parties are going to have to actively seek their vote.

ROBINSON Not just lay around and...

FITZPATRICK That's true.

SERRANO The Democrats are going to have to work just as hard as the Republicans down the road and this is a crucial vote because they're going to be in their thirties and as they get older and have families.

ROBINSON Is that something new, that is to say in the older generations based on the kind of household in which you grew up, based on your ethnic background, you would have a strong tendency simply naturally to align yourself with the Democrats or the Republicans, right?

FITZPATRICK That's absolutely true.

ROBINSON And that's not the case among Generation X.

FITZPATRICK It is not the case among Generation X who are unanchored to either of the major political parties, but I would go a step further. They seem unanchored to most major institutions in this country.

ROBINSON Issue number one. Do Generation Xers care about issues outside our borders?

DON'T KNOW MUCH 'BOUT FOREIGN POICY
ROBINSON David, does Generation X care about foreign policy and defense and, if they do, what do the Democratic Party have to offer?

SERRANO Of course Generation X cares about these issues. I mean, we want a President that can bring about world stability. You know we admire the fact that President Clinton will go to Northern Ireland, okay, meet, extend a hand, you know, fly back with Gerry Adams, begin discussion and you know people are talking now. The peace process continues. That's, we admire that. That's leadership. That's being presidential.

ROBINSON So what you admire, Generation X will find appealing in the Democratic Party's conduct of foreign policies activism, leadership.

SERRANO Yeah, that's the kind of president we have and that's I think what Generation X likes to see, you know. We don't want the old Margaret Thatcher- John Major, Reagan-Bush you know status quo in the world scene.

ROBINSON Well now...

FITZPATRICK I have no idea what any of that means.

ROBINSON Excuse me just a moment.

FITZPATRICK Status quo? I mean, communism didn't fall. It was kicked by these people that you are...

ROBINSON Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan sort of won the Cold War. Isn't that just...

SERRANO Well, I'm talking about, we're talking about, you asked do we care about foreign policy...

ROBINSON Yeah, the answer is yes, you care.

SERRANO Yes, we care. The answer is what we've seen the President do, what we've seen Clinton do. We've seen him go to Northern Ireland, we've seen him deal with Bosnia, we've seen him deal with Russia.

ROBINSON Let me ask this question. Is Generation X a generation that wants a strong military establishment?

FITZPATRICK Yes, but again, they are unanchored to our major institutions including the military. They don't have as much confidence in the military and the educational establishment and religious institutions and the government and the media as previous generations had and that's an important point. The other important point to know is all the foreign policy and defense experiences for our generation have occurred externally. They've been moving pictures on CNN. No one has asked any member, he has not been asked to sign up for the draft and to go. I have not been asked to...

SERRANO I've been asked to sign up and I did when I turned 18.

ROBINSON Oh, you've registered.

SERRANO Yeah-

FITZPATRICK Correct, but you haven't been asked to go anywhere. You basically have- our generation is the first one in a very long time that hasn't watched it's brothers, its sons, its husbands, its fathers be put, be dispatched.

ROBINSON Okay, and how do the Republicans capitalize on that or how do they appeal to that generation with regard to foreign policy?

FITZPATRICK I think they can appeal to that generation if they would just recognize that a strong national defense is one of President Reagan's four main pillars and that President Reagan was an enormously popular figure among younger people, his age notwithstanding.

ROBINSON Okay now, among Generation X, if you look at the polling data, who was more popular, Reagan or Clinton?

FITZPATRICK Oh, Reagan by a landslide.

ROBINSON Oh really?

FITZPATRICK More young people voted for him.

SERRANO Do they fall into Generation X? Are you saying-

ROBINSON Well, I'm saying...

FITZPATRICK You're saying young people at the time.

ROBINSON Okay, I'll say young people. That isn't actually isn't what I had in mind.

FITZPATRICK Because we couldn't vote. I was never old enough to vote for Ronald Reagan but I'm a Republican because of him which is...

ROBINSON So you were a kid at the time but he was an impressive figure to you and to your generation.

FITZPATRICK Absolutely. He was about leadership and-

ROBINSON And a more impressive figure than Clinton?

FITZPATRICK Oh, I would think so. See, part of the problem that Generation X would have in connecting Bill Clinton to any workable foreign policy or defense matter is that he has tried so hard to make himself our next-door neighbor. He's tried so hard to play the saxophone, talk about his underwear on TV, have ex-girlfriends write books about his private parts that we, what in the world, how can we connect that to any meaningful foreign policy? We think of him as a presidential peer. We don't think of him of as a world leader.

ROBINSON Are you saying that is doesn't work? That the notion of Bill Clinton playing saxophone on M, it was MTV.

SERRANO Of course it works. He set the standard for reaching out-

FITZPATRICK It works for what? What was he trying to do?

ROBINSON It does appeal...

SERRANO It works out to reaching out towards Generation X.

FITZPATRICK Oh.

SERRANO People in Generation X are voters. He set the standard when he played the saxophone on Arsenio Hall.

FITZPATRICK That's a standard?

SERRANO You know, George Bush...

FITZPATRICK I think that is a nadir. I don't think that is a standard.

SERRANO Everyone else came running to see what can we do? It fit for this president. He's a new president. Bill Clinton...

FITZPATRICK No, thank God George Bush did not discuss his underwear on TV or play the saxophone. I'm glad he lost.

SERRANO Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton, it's a different party, we're doing different things. Bill Clinton is leading this nation and leading this Party. You know, we're putting cops on the streets, we're doing, we're being presidential.

ROBINSON On to the next issue. What do Generation Xers think about the bite that government takes out of their paychecks?

IRS AND UFO
ROBINSON The government now absorbs between 40 and 50 percent of our gross domestic product by way of taxation. After Ronald Reagan, the so-called Reagan Revolution, the government of the United States is still huge. How does Generation X feel about big government? Does it like it, loathe it, doesn't care?

SERRANO The federal government is big.

ROBINSON Yeah.

SERRANO It needs to br down-sized. That's what Generation X expects from our leaders to do and...

ROBINSON It does?

SERRANO Absolutely.

ROBINSON And the Democratic Party can absorb that impulse and act on it?

SERRANO They have. They have.

ROBINSON Okay. Kelly?

FITZPATRICK Well, Generation X does not like the burgeoning tax, tax burden that they have for a couple of reasons. A) It's simply immoral, but B) many of them are trying to be entrepreneurs. Many of them are trying to start their own businesses, trying to chase their version of the American dream and their finding that the most difficult thing in doing so is not accessing capital, not being talented themselves or getting a good education, not hiring a trusted workforce in their small business, but in meeting all the regulatory and tax burdens and it's tough on people. It's very tough for them to achieve their American dreams this way. The other thing is I more and more out there are hearing younger people refer to the Social Security, the FICA withholding as a tax and they say if it's going to be 14.7 percent at least call it what it is. It's a tax. If you start to have an entire generation who already believes more in the existence of UFO's than that Social Security will exist when they're old enough to get it, and you start having them call...

ROBINSON Is, was that just sort of a magazine make-up thing or is it...

FITZPATRICK No.

ROBINSON ...or is it actually.

FITZPATRICK No, I was involved with polling question.

ROBINSON That's the truth.

FITZPATRICK That is the truth. More Generation X'ers believe in that UFO's exist than that Social Security will exist when they are of retirement age. But the point of all that is if you start having an entire generation start calling this duck a duck, that this is not withholding for some kind of social contract, this is a tax, that's going to be very, very tough to overcome.

ROBINSON So why did Bill Clinton out-poll Bob Dole among Generation X so dramatically?

FITZPATRICK Oh, gosh, I mean...

ROBINSON I mean, you're painting a picture of a generation that wants smaller government,

FITZPATRICK Plenty of reasons.

ROBINSON is suspicious of government, doesn't like presidents who play saxophone on Arsenio Hall, why did Clinton win?

FITZPATRICK The Clinton-Dole presidential race is a poor example of many things. It's a poor example of the woman's vote, of the Generation X vote. We have to look down ballot to see that many Generation X'ers were reelecting the incumbent Republican House and Senate. We had 34 senate races. We had 34 governors races. Why don't we care about those?

SERRANO Go Republican and then down the ticket go to the Democratic column on the ballot. That's, that's, you see that.

ROBINSON In other words, in the old days what, most presidents tended to be Republicans.

SERRANO You see that pattern with a lot of American voters. They split the ballot. It happens all the time.

ROBINSON Okay, now let me ask you this, David.

FITZPATRICK In 1996, that 9 percent-

ROBINSON Do you accept the overall outlines of the portrait with regard to the size of government that Kellyanne is drawing of Generation X? They're suspicious of government, they want it down-sized, you accept that overall portrait, right?

SERRANO Yes, yes. I think many in Generation X feel that way

ROBINSON Now, however, you are saddled with a welfare state which is substantially the making of the Democratic Party beginning with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and ratified by Lyndon Johnson and by Democratic Congresses over a period of four decades, right?

SERRANO Right.

ROBINSON Okay, so how do you square that circle? How does the Democratic Party respond to that impulse for down-sizing?

SERRANO What do we say to Generation X?

ROBINSON Yeah.

SERRANO What works with us is...

ROBINSON Right.

SERRANO There's a problem here. We need to fix it. You know, the President's, you know, on board with welfare reform as one of his legislative highlights during the past session. We're going to have to work with, it's a non-partisan issue just as mending Social Security and Medicare. I don't think it's a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. It's a non-partisan, it's an Amer-, it's a non-partisan issue and I would hope that our elected officials in Washington on both sides of the aisle would come together and find a compromise and agreement that works for this country. I certainly don't want-

ROBINSON Generation X is big, diverse, well-educated. How did the two major parties reach out to this generation?

PARTY INVITATIONS
ROBINSON Now isn't the Republican Party still white...

SERRANO Male.

ROBINSON .. and sort of male and mid-western. Does it still have that feel?

FITZPATRICK No. I'm sure it has that feel, okay.

ROBINSON I'm under no illusion that you're male yourself. I'm not that confused.

FITZPATRICK You can certainly, no, you can certainly point to ways to, the ways the Republican Party, there is very little to combat the stereotypes that have existed for a long time. But more to the point...

ROBINSON How about let's take a couple of groups then. What does the Republican do to appeal to Generation X'ers who are Hispanic?

FITZPATRICK The Republican Party should recognize that younger Hispanic voters are an absolute prime walking constituency of the conservative movement, if not the Republican Party.

ROBINSON On account of?

FITZPATRICK They believe they are very entrepreneurial. They do not, they did not like, they are against bilingual education. They would not have the same opportunities as other people if they weren't able to speak the language of this country.

ROBINSON All right, now.

FITZPATRICK They recognize that. But I will say this. For Generation X, they are leading the charge towards a couple of important things that the Republican Party is going to need to get a hold of. Number one is that the issue of fairness has replaced equality as a core guiding value and Generation X has led that...

SERRANO Distinguished, distinguished...

FITZPATRICK Equality years ago was I want equal rights, I want equal this, everyone needs to be the same, everyone is androgynous. You know, women fought for equal rights as if you and I can really lift the same amount of weights in a gym.

ROBINSON And fairness is?

FITZPATRICK Fairness is different. Fairness means that we're all standing behind the gate at the same time and the gate opens at the same time. Wherever you go from there is up to you.

SERRANO I think Generation X acknowledges because many members of Generation X have probably experienced it that there is still racism, that there is still homophobia, that there is still sexism out there.

FITZPATRICK Well, what has that to do...

SERRANO And there is a role...

FITZPATRICK What should the government do about that?

SERRANO There's a role for government to play in leveling the playing field.

FITZPATRICK What is it?

ROBINSON And the Democratic Party is better suited to playing that role.

SERRANO Well, because we're traditionally, that's been a traditional issue for the Democratic Party. We believe that government...

ROBINSON The notion that the Democratic Party is for the outsiders.

SERRANO Yeah, that's., that's..

ROBINSON ... and the recent immigrants. the little guy. That's-

SERRANO That's one of our playing cards and it's, you know, it's something we believe in. It's a core value and it's in our platform.

ROBINSON Now, hang on. Okay, so Black Americans we know are 90 percent Democratic. They vote over and over again in each election. Is there any difference among the Generation X of Black Americans?

FITZPATRICK There actually isn't. The Black vote is...

ROBINSON There is no difference.

FITZPATRICK ...is more monolithic as goes the parties in almost any other voting block.

ROBINSON And the Republican Party has what to say to Generation X Black voters?

FITZPATRICK What they, I think they want to appeal to them as entrepreneurs but also as people who tend to be more college-educated. In other words years ago all younger people didn't have the same opportunity to go to college. As you see more women in college now and in graduate school you see more minorities including Black Americans in college and grad school. So I that the Republican Party needs to appeal to their sense of education, their concerns about the environment, about entitlements, but see I don't believe in identity politics. I don't believe that you take a group of individuals, classify them according to an immutable characteristic like gender of race or even age and speak to them that way. When David's talking about the various quote playing cards they have I'm happy to say we'll lose a couple more elections before I'll ever concede that we should have a bunch of playing cards.

SERRANO Well, look, here. What the Republican Party should say to young African American Gen X folks is we put 209 on the ballot here in California. It passed by a slim margin of 14 points.

ROBINSON 209 did what?

SERRANO 209 ended Affirmative Action.

FITZPATRICK 14 points is not a slim margin.

SERRANO You know, ended...

FITZPATRICK It's more than Bill Clinton got.

SERRANO Okay. The bottom line is...

ROBINSON Okay, so you have on the California ballot there was Proposition 209. It ended Affirmative Action programs by state and local government ...

SERRANO Sponsored by Republicans.

ROBINSON ...and it won by 14 percent.

SERRANO It did. And it did win But what the Republican Party should say to young African American voters is, Yeah, it passed, and at Boalt Law School at the Berkeley campus there are no African American law students there now.

FITZPATRICK Do you know why?

ROBINSON I think there was one, wasn't there?

SERRANO No, he was from the previous class before 209 was...

FITZPATRICK Well, a number of them have been accepted but they chose to go to Harvard and Yale. These are good consolation prizes I would say.

ROBINSON So the Democratic Party...

SERRANO The Hispanics went from six to two. I mean, we've seen, we've, as a result of, that's what the Republican Party should say to the young, Generation X people of color.

ROBINSON Let me ask you. The message, the message of the Democratic party

SERRANO You're not welcome in this party.

ROBINSON The message of the Democratic Party to Generation X is we are the party of Affirmative Action. On Affirmative Action the Democratic Party is going to stoutly going to defend that. Is that your notion?

SERRANO That's my notion. We're not for quotas, you know, those buzzwords.

FITZPATRICK That's what it is.

ROBINSON And you say, and you say Generation X...

FITZPATRICK No, quota. That's what it is. You're just calling it something different.

ROBINSON And you say Generation X...

SERRANO It's not quotas.

ROBINSON ...it's your sense that Generation X supports Affirmative Action?

SERRANO Yes.

FITZPATRICK Oh.

SERRANO They voted, if you look at where Gen X voted in California, a lot of Gen X voters in California, they voted no on 209.

FITZPATRICK Yeah, I have a news flash. I know California's big but there is some national polling on young people and their attitudes towards quotas and preferences and, except when you call it affirmative action, you're seeing overwhelming number of young people saying we don't believe the government should discriminate or prefer based on race and gender. It all goes back to your point, David, that we're a multi-cultural, tolerant generation. The by-product of that is that we know we know having gone to school with more Blacks, more Hispanics, more people of a different religion, we know they can make it on their own. We've all experienced it for 12 years in the school system.

ROBINSON We've got, we've got, I want to go to one more issue-

Enough of partisan differences. Let's try a few generational differences. When I look at Generation X, I see, well-

SPOILED BRATS
ROBINSON Okay. I've been talking about Republicans versus Democrats and now as somebody who's a little too old to be a Generation Xer, I want to ask a question or two about Generation X. Now it seems to me a kind of tenet of human psychology that adversity makes for character, right? And I won't ask you to agree with it until I, until you see how I intend to use it. As I mentioned, my father's generation, the Great Depression, World War II, those people went through something. Now, it seems to me that if you take a look at Generation X and ask what has it been through and then ask how is it behaving, what you discover is that it hasn't been through much. And if you ask how it's behaving, well, can't be bothered to become Republican or Democratic, a lot of Independents, kind of disengaged, a little uninformed. You wrote somewhere that during the last presidential election the lead among Generation X'ers switched three times during the month of August alone. It's fickle. Now, it seems to me there's an argument to be made that this generation is the most cosseted, spoiled, uninformed, disengaged and generally disappointing generation in American history and I would like you to tell me what your group has to offer for the country.

SERRANO Well, you know, I wouldn't say disappointing. Some of those other descriptions could fit into the Generation X experience. Yes, there's some of them. But what have we witnessed? We've witnessed immense changes in technology, we've seen world events happen right in front of us on CNN and via the Internet. So while there hasn't been those great historical moments that we're used to seeing, it has experienced a lot.

ROBINSON What animates you guys? I don't want to say it 57 times about my father, you know. He wanted to stop Hitler and they did it and then we have, the next generation comes along, Civil Rights Movement. Now, you may or may not like hippies and Haight-Ashbury and all that went on in San Francisco and Berkeley during that generation but the Civil Rights Movement is a major achievement in American history and people who now are seeing their grandchildren born remember that as one of the most important moments in their life. What animates you guys? What do you care about? What do you want to do with America?

SERRANO It's been my experience that we care about substance. We care about quality over quantity. We care about making the right informed decisions and that's what we expect from our leaders. And issue for issue I think the Democratic Party will appeal to Generation X voters as they have in the past.

ROBINSON Kellyanne, Kellyanne, you came up with...

FITZPATRICK I agree with you that Generation X cares about substance that's why I'm just agog that we think the saxophone was a good idea.

ROBINSON You started your career as a pollster during the administration of Ronald Reagan in which to tip my hand I served and what I want to know is, Ronald Reagan was sort of my father's generation. Kellyanne, don't you sort of secretly wish that the country could still be in the hands of that generation?

FITZPATRICK Oh, there's no question.

ROBINSON Are you pleased when you look at your own generation and think of the decades to come?

FITZPATRICK Yes, I'm actually hopeful when I think of the decades to come. What I'm not very happy about is now the current state and the Baby Boomers run this country right now, not your father's generation, not Ronald Reagan.

ROBINSON And not Generation X either.

FITZPATRICK No, Generation X does not yet run the studios in Hollywood, they're not the major CEO's of corporations, they're not the parents of school-aged children yet.

ROBINSON So the really loathsome group is my group, the Baby Boomers.

FITZPATRICK Well, it's not loathsome but they are in charge now, Peter, but...

ROBINSON Okay, so let me put to David, so a few years from now they will be in charge. My question is what animates Generation X? Can you see anything yet?

Older generations may be in charge for now, but of course that will change and all too quickly.

GENERATION GENUFLECTIONS
ROBINSON It's 2007. It's a decade hence. The Baby Boomers are now moving into the retirement communities and your generation, I pray about this every night, will be in charge of the country. What will be the party affiliation then? Give me what it is today again among Generation X? It's 40 percent Independent, and then what? About thirty something for Democrats...

FITZPATRICK About 34 to 28.

ROBINSON And Republican is the 28 figure? Okay. So a decade from now, will Generation X have moved it's loyalties to the Republican Party?

FITZPATRICK Yes. As time marches on and your go through the natural progression of life you find that most voters are willing to call themselves conservative or Republican in increasing numbers. That's when you get into the three magic M's: marriage, mortgage and munchkins usually and I would add to that small business ownership because that's increasing among this generation. They will be more Republican but they will still be anchored, I believe, to this independent label and...

ROBINSON Ah.

FITZPATRICK ... and the party in the future that is able to harness in a very meaningful way the Libertarian spirit of the generation I think will be the dominant party for many years to come.

ROBINSON A decade from now?

SERRANO I would agree with that assessment.

ROBINSON Do you think it's going to be the Democrats?

SERRANO I think it's going to be the Democrats. I'm a party loyalist.

ROBINSON David, Kellyanne, thank you very much,

SERRANO Thank you.

ROBINSON Kellyanne says Generation X will be Republic. David says it will be Democratic. But, with 40 percent of Generation Xers identifying themselves as independents, so far it's as though the entire generation is saying in effect, "Take me to your leader." I'm Peter Robinson. Thanks for joining us.

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