Millennials have a message for the next president. Get serious about converting to renewable energy, the under-35 generation says by an overwhelming margin, and require every gun buyer to undergo a background check. They endorse putting body cameras on police officers and accepting refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria.
Why Millennials Don’t Vote for Mayor
June 4, 2015
Young people are moving to cities—and particularly to downtown areas—in greater number than any other age group. They are remaking cities across the country, and have the opportunity to be powerful forces for change. But it’s hard to have influence when you don’t show up to vote, and young people vote at lower rates in local elections than any other age group.
Among Millennials, Facebook is far and away the most common source for news about government and politics. When asked whether they got political and government news from each of 42 sources in the previous week (36 specific news outlets, local TV generally and 5 social networking sites), about six-in-ten Web-using Millennials (61%) reported getting political news on Facebook. That is 17 points higher than the next most consumed source for Millennials (CNN at 44%).
States across the country are increasingly adopting online voter registration to reduce costs, enhance government efficiency, and build more complete and accurate voter lists. Results from a recent survey by The Pew Charitable Trusts identify growing trends and emerging issues in online voter registration.
More than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015), and this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
The class of 2015 is the most indebted class in American history, according to a new analysis by Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of Edvisors, who shared his findings with Mic. The analysis is based on data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which was conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. The average student who borrowed money for their bachelor’s degree will be over $35,000 in debt – $2,000 more than the previous year, and roughly $15,000 more than just 10 years ago. Even when adjusted for inflation, debt per borrower has more than doubled since the early ’90s.
“A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29- year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, finds no front-runner among prospective Republican candidates in a still-emerging presidential primary race – with no candidate capturing more than ten percent. Hillary Clinton is in command of a hypothetical Democratic presidential primary with 47%, with potential candidates Elizabeth Warren garnering eleven percent, followed by Joe Biden (8%), Martin O’Malley (3%), Jim Webb (2%), and Bernie Sanders (1%).”
A new report from the Young Invincibles finds that “more than 1 in 5 Millennial parents is in poverty (a nearly 40 percent increase since the start of the new millennium) and that providing affordable childcare on college campuses, paid leave, and flexible and secure work scheduling could make a significant difference in supporting young parents.”
PEW: 63% of Republican Millennials favor marijuana legalization
February 27, 2015
Six-in-ten (63%) GOP Millennials say the use of marijuana should be made legal, while 35% say it should be illegal, according to our February 2014 survey…Republican Millennials, however, are not as supportive of marijuana legalization as their young Democratic and Democratic-leaning counterparts. Democrats overall are more enthusiastic supporters, with three-in-four (77%) Democratic Millennials favoring legal marijuana use, as well as 66% of Boomers, 61% of Gen Xers and 44% of the Silent generation inside the party.
On Thursday, CIRCLE released its exclusive, revised two-day estimate of national youth voter turnout, which shows that at least 10 million young people went to the polls in Tuesday’s midterm elections — a youth turnout rate of 21.5%. The number of young voters in Tuesday’s election is comparable to the turnout seen in other, recent midterm contests. In 2010, the two-day youth turnout estimate was 20.9%, or around 9.2 million young people.
Voter ID laws are back in the news once again, with two new opinions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court late last week dealing with the state’s ID requirement, which would allow people to vote only if they provide certain forms of government-issued ID. The Court made some minor changes to the law but otherwise upheld it. However, the ID requirement is still on hold pending a federal lawsuit…
Millennials, born after 1980, are more diverse, less conservative, less attached to a political party, and less religious than previous generations, according to the Pew Research Center. While detached from traditional institutions—churches, political parties, marriage—millennials create their own networks, and share personal content online. Based on the Pew Survey, the Washington Post concludes that the Millennial generation is rewriting tradition, forming new social bonds and using more technology than their parents and grandparents.
18-29 year olds are less likely to vote in the upcoming midterm elections than they were in the 2010 elections, according to April polling by Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Moreover, the percentage of voters who say they will “definitely be voting” in the midterm elections has fallen by ten percentage points since Harvard IOP polled last November—a steeper drop off than during the last election. The survey also contains information on party identification and intensity of engagement, categories where the Republicans poll more strongly than Democrats do for the upcoming races.
Source: Harvard Public Opinion Project
Are Young Liberals Disillusioned?
May 1, 2014
Salon Magazine reiterates that millennials have rejected many traditional institutions and tend to be liberal, but argues that today’s “deeply disillusioning” politics dampen millennial enthusiasm. To engage young voters, politicians should candidly acknowledge challenges facing young Americans, and address their concerns.
The 2013 Millennial Impact Report researches strategies for non-profits looking to connect with Millennials: they should communicate via technology, provide ways for volunteers to engage with their peers, and offer a variety of ways for individuals to support the group. Millennials, as informed media consumers, prefer content about a cause rather than the relevant organizations and 75% will like, retweet or share content on social media if it reinforces why they care about a cause in the first place.
To get young people to vote in midterms, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) says to get young people to vote in midterms, more media outreach and better information on how to vote is needed. Turnout rose among young voters in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections but stayed constant between 2006 and 2010., If campaigns want to engage young voters they have to focus on getting them informed and registered.
The US Census Bureau reports that after increasing in 2004 and 2008, young voter participation fell by six percentage points in the 2012 Presidential Election. Some exceptions included states where older voters were highly engaged–there, younger voters participated in higher numbers. Several of these states, like Colorado and New Hampshire, were closely contested in 2012, but others, like Minnesota, reflect traditionally high voter turnout in every age group. The Census Bureau attributes some of the long-term decline, from a high of 50.9% in 1964 to 38% in 2012, to an increase in the noncitizen population (who is ineligible to vote), but the decline between 2008 and 2012 controls for this population change.
While exit polls in Colorado, Washington and Oregon demonstrate higher young voter turnout in the 2012 elections than in the 2008 elections, more accurate census data counters these findings. Using U.S. Census data, the blog 538 says analysts who hope to tie youth turnout to ballot measures on marijuana decriminalization are jumping to conclusions. While Washington, Oregon and Colorado all had marijuana-related ballot measures, turnout among 18-29 year olds remain unchanged between 2008 and 2012. According to 538, states looking to improve youth turnout should not look to pot for their answer.
Young Voters are Skeptical Independents
Third Way’s report on millennials calls them “political explorers” who are more tolerant of racial and ethnic diversity, identify as political independents, and question American exceptionalism. Potentially more cynical than previous generations, millennials are skeptical of government efficacy—although they still favor expanded government services.