There is less than a week until Election Day and one group of voters that is confounding expectations is young voters. This demographic is supposed to be enthusiastic and easily engaged. For many it is their first time voting and they haven’t yet had the time to become cynical from witnessing many political campaigns and election cycles. Not yet disappointed by politicians not delivering on their campaign promises, young voters are easier to get to the polling stations. But these young voters are millennials. That means they are already less enthusiastic about politics. Still, both presidential candidates are trying to get their vote.
The Two Presidential Candidates Try to Charm Young Voters
Republican candidate Donald J. Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton have both tried to woo the young vote. Donald J. Trump has presented himself as an outsider to the political system. The Trump campaign claims that the Republican candidate would be a change from the usual choice voters have between different career politicians. In terms of his platform, Donald J. Trump doesn’t have plans on policy issues that young voters particularly care about. But he promises to energize the country and breathe new life into what he feels is a stagnating America. That could appeal to young voters.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has used classic left-wing strategies to get young voters interested in her political platform. Clinton is careful to talk about the issues that young people care about the most. Her carefully elaborated political platform has ideas and solution for most challenges facing young people today. But her message lacks the emotion that Barack Obama could pull off. The Democratic candidate has had difficulty energizing young voters and getting them to the polls since the beginning of her presidential campaign. She has relied heavily on more popular supporters like First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrities like Katy Perry and Lena Dunham to deliver her message to young voters.
Despite the best efforts of the two presidential candidates, young voters are largely unimpressed with the choice that they have this election year. Even those that say they will vote and have already made up their mind have doubts about their candidate of choice. But their vote is very important to the outcome of this election. And regarding those who are still undecided, many are frustrated by their political apathy.
Young Voters in the Battleground State of Colorado
The way young people are going to vote this year could determine the outcome of the vote in the battleground state of Colorado. In 2008 and 2012, young voters were key to the success that Barack Obama registered in Colorado. The state had voted red in three previous elections. So, the expectation was that the Democratic candidate didn’t have much chance of winning Colorado. But Barack Obama used his charisma with young voters and carried the state. It’s clear that the young vote had a significant impact. In 2012, the voting rate for young voters 18 to 21 years old was 1.5 times the national average.
However, this year, young voters in Colorado seem to be wavering when it comes to their political choice. They’re not particularly enthusiastic about either one of the two presidential candidates. A poll from CBS News/YouGov shows that millennials are unhappy with both nominees. Among 18 to 29 year old voters, 40 percent said that they would “never consider” voting for Hillary Clinton. Within that same age group, two thirds said they would “never consider” voting for Donald J. Trump.
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