2016 Election: The Millennial Effect

2016 Election: The Millennial Effect

The millennial vote is a game changer.

In the 2016 presidential election, millennials will be given the opportunity to shape define the United States of America for generations to come. It will be up to millennials to decide whether this country leans liberal for a generation, or if this country will lean conservative for a generation. As many know, this is an election like no other in history with its crazy antics and grade school bullying, but one interesting aspect of this election that makes it different than any other election in recent history is that millennials have now surpassed the baby boomer generation as the nation’s largest living generation which makes it evident just how instrumental millennials will be in this year’s presidential election.

Millenials have the opportunity to decide the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, but does that mean they will? Even though millennials have now surpassed baby boomers, they are still the generation with the fewest percentage actually heading to the polls. Andrew Soergel points out, “Millenials, or the demographic between the ages of 18 and 35, are often discussed as if they're a separate species, with their own unique values, wants and needs that politicians can either cater to or overlook entirely. And typically, the latter strategy hasn't been a terrible one, considering only 38 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 years old and 49.5 percent of those between the ages of 25 and 44 years old turned out to vote in 2012, according to the Census Bureau” (Soergel). The fact is, millennials just do not show up at the polls… so will they show up this year? Will millennials take advantage of the opportunity they have to change the outcome of this election?

Bethany Lemmons, a dear friend, says in many ways this is the biggest election we have ever had. “We have the chance to vote for Hillary Clinton, the most qualified candidate to ever run for president, or vote for the least qualified candidate to ever run for president, Donald Trump. So what happens in this election will determine the course of united states and we, millennials, play such a big part in that. We have the chance to vote for the most qualified person ever, but if my generation will take up the offer, I do not know”, she explains.

In a recent USA TODAY poll, Clinton trounced Trump 56%-20% among those under 35. Susan Page of USA TODAY points out, “The findings have implications for politics long past the November election. If the trend continues, the Democratic Party will have scored double-digit victories among younger voters in three consecutive elections, the first time that has happened since such data became readily available in 1952. That could shape the political affiliations of the largest generation in American history for years to follow” (Page). Trump's numbers among millennial voters is unlike anything seen before, lower even than the 32% of the vote that the Gallup Organization reports Richard Nixon received among 18-to-29-year-old voters in 1972, an era of youthful rebellion and protests against the Vietnam War.

Tyler Wilson, a millennial and young republican says he doesn’t know if he will support Donald Trump in this election. “I saw a button not long ago that read ‘Republicans for Hillary. Principals before Party’… this summed up my thoughts exactly. I come from a family of republicans, most will be supporting Trump, but I just don’t know if I can. I don’t know if it is a generational thing or not, but I just cannot find myself to vote for Trump after some of the things he has said such as claiming that John McCain was not a war hero because he was captured. This is the republican nominee for President, yet he sounds like no other republican in my lifetime.” Wilson went on to explain that he feels the republican party has no place for millenNials. “After seeing what has happened in this election cycle and witnessing how the republican party has become the party of Donald Trump, I do not believe there will be a republican party in twenty years from now because they are turning millennial republicans like myself off”, says Wilson.

According to the Atlantic, “a recent survey of Millennials in 11 battleground states released by Baumann’s firm, the Global Strategy Group, for Project New America and NextGen Climate presents the same daunting contrast for Clinton. In that survey, 75 percent of Millennials say they view Trump unfavorably, 73 percent describe him as a ‘racist,’ and 70 percent say he is ‘unfit to protect our country from major threats’” (Atlantic). Regardless of polls showing record lows for Trump among millennials, they are not the greatest for Clinton either. None of the national polls show Clinton approaching Obama’s 60 percent vote share with Millenials last time. Among all of them, just the Global Strategy Group survey show her in the four-way race equaling or exceeding Obama’s 23 percentage point advantage among members of that generation. While the latest Global Strategy Group survey found some improvement for Clinton compared to the firm’s first poll in July, she is by no means where she needs to be” explains the Atlantic (Atlantic).

“Millenials need to realize how big this is. This is a game changer,” says student Branyon Jones, “On one end we have a moderate woman with amazing accomplishments and an incredible resume and then on the other end, we have a far right fascist man who says terrible things…. terrible things. He says he wants to ban Muslims from this country, he wants to deport 11 million people, and he mocks people with disabilities. You cannot do that as president. Millenials do not realize how big and how dangerous this is. He goes on to explain, “as millennials, we think we have erased racism and difficulties of such, but when you see that Donald Trump is even an option for president and the hate he has brought forth, you have to question is racism and sexism really gone? The answer is NO! We have work to do and it is up to us as a generation to decide where this country goes.”
Cover Image Credit: hillaryclinton.com

Popular Right Now

5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.


While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

Related Content

Facebook Comments