In his intentionally wrinkled button-down shirt, with trimmed hair and eager poise, Sam Adkisson is the kind of young Republican his party needs. Adkisson, 20, a rising junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, says he believes in the Republican creed of limited government and lower taxes. At the same time, he says, his party is wrong to oppose same-sex marriage. He is part of the shift toward near-majority support for the right of gays to marry in the U.S., a change propelled by adults ages 18 to 29 -- a group that outnumbers the Baby Boom generation -- according to polling at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. The move will have political consequences, especially for a Republican Party that already has lost ground among Hispanics and women as the gay-marriage issue tests the loyalties of younger voters.
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