North Texas Daily

Millennials will decide all future elections

Millennials will decide all future elections

Millennials will decide all future elections
March 03
15:05 2017

Harrison Long | Contributing Writer

It would seem silly now to say that the 2016 election was historic in scope and outcome. Apart from the obvious, and the division that has come since, the United States is now faced with a future that would have seemed entirely alien only a year prior.

But apart from the fervor, the hateful discourse and the uncertainty that now plagues our country, another shift has begun to take place: millennial voters are now nearly tied with, and will soon pass, baby boomers as the largest voting bloc in the United States.

The former is currently at 69.2 million, the latter at 69.7 million in eligible voters. For a frame of reference, just over 65 million people voted for Hillary Clinton this past November. Trump? Just shy of 63 million.

Why does this matter?

It changes everything: the rhetoric politicians use to excite potential voters, the landscape of battleground states and most importantly, who it is that’s running for office.

The implications here are enormous. For the sake of clarity, we will say that millennials are those who are ages 18-35, and baby boomers are those who are ages 52-70. As morose as it might sound, as the latter dies off, and more who can engage in politics for the first time are able to turn their energy towards political schemes, a massive shift will inevitably take place.

It will behoove anyone running for office to engage the vote of “the youth,” for it all but assures victory. Failure to do so will result in either one of two things: what we had in 2016, where a stomach – churning, abysmally large number of eligible voters stayed home, or an overwhelming landslide victory for those who heed the will of the new majority. This isn’t a threat, or even a promise. It is an inevitability. The only problem, and potential criticism of this assertion, is that the latter has yet to happen.

Who do millennials like?

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) was the only candidate who had a viable and measurable impact on the enthusiasm of millennial voters. This isn’t a begrudging fist-shake at “the establishment” or a longing for the days where a Bernie ticket seemed on the horizon – it’s reality.

Hillary Clinton, though overwhelmingly preferred by millennial voters over her Republican counterpart, ultimately fell short in prodding young people to the polls in the same way Barack Obama did four and eight years before. Despite having won the popular vote, she ultimately lost her race to the White House because she was not who they felt was needed. Democrats need a game plan that focuses on young people primarily and not as an afterthought.

This is not a time of jubilee for Republicans, either. Polls show that 55 percent of young people who voted went Democrat, and eight percent voted for a third party candidate: this leaves the GOP with only 37 percent of what is very quickly becoming the largest voting bloc in the United States. It is time to take to the streets, not pop champagne. Believe me when I say that Democrats are furious, and sharpening their swords for a bloodbath in the midterms and 2020 election.

Don’t be shortsighted in this victory, as millennials are lukewarm to Trump at best and would likely turn against him in droves if Democrats fielded a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren-style of candidate.

So what does all this add up to? Change.

It doesn’t take an astrophysicist to see that the political landscape and the country at large are both changing. While these next few years are likely to be rife with tumultuous gridlock and party in-fighting, our country will ultimately emerge stronger.

Millennials, it is time to think about what you want in political candidates. Unplug from Netflix and get involved. Only you know your potential, and only you can gauge it into something tangible. The time has never been more fertile for grassroots political activism, and this is where the revolution begins.

Featured Image: Young people using their smartphones at a party. Wikimedia Commons

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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  1. Trump supporter
    Trump supporter March 06, 08:57

    It also doesn’t take an astrophysicist to study BOTH sides of the political spectrum – conservative as well as liberal – and know that the recent Conservative Political Action Conference attracted many Millennials, and that there are younger people who are conservatives and future stars in the Republican party or Tea Party. And look at the large slate of Republican candidates for last year’s election, many of whom were unquestionably younger than Bernie Sanders, Clinton and the other Democrat candidates. I really fail to see how a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren – senior citizens – can appeal enough to Millennials to result in Democrats winning back the majority of American people – many of whom voted Democrat in the past, but are fed up with their values being bashed and Democrats having no message except that conservatives and Republicans are evil.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Young Repub
    Young Repub March 06, 09:15

    Democrats’ and liberals’ behavior in the four months since Donald Trump was elected and became president will result in defeats in the midterm elections and in 2020. Most Americans, including many, many Millennials, have lost patience with the whining, protesting, name calling, ugliness and general immature and hateful behavior. If Democrats and liberals want to win in the future, they must learn to act like decent Americans, and not bash Americans whose values are different than theirs and who are thinking of America first and not catering to special interest groups.

    Reply to this comment

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