The 2016 election cycle in the United States has become a worldwide trending topic and, arguably, the most polarizing campaign season in recent history. With new possibilities on the horizon, Americans have become more motivated to get to the polls – especially the 80 million Millennials who are voting age.
Historically, this group has steered clear from the voting booths with Millennial voting on a downward trend, especially within the 18-24 cohort which saw a 7.3% drop in voter turnout from 2008 to 2012. This year is looking very different, based on the latest POME study conducted this month.
According to POME, a Gen Y-to-Z syndicated study polling over 2,500 respondents, 83% of 18 to 34 year old Millennials intend to vote; 1.5 times higher than historical voter turnout for this generation. The Democratic party appears to be winning the hearts of Millennials; a generation that has seen a multitude of societal issues become a mounting pressure on the United States such as climate change, socioeconomic inequality, and gun control to name only a few.
Between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, the first female presidential nominee offers policy reforms which seem to be appealing to Millennials to a greater extent. Only 27% of POME participants hailing from Southern states, a commonly Republican region, are intending on voting for Donald Trump and 57% are planning to vote for Hillary. Donald Trump’s candidacy was initially scoffed at but quickly became a force to be reckoned. Although, it appears that Millennials are not his main base of supporters.
POME results also suggest a relatively high instance of Millennial support for third party candidates, particularly in the Midwest with 26% responding that they intend to cast their vote for someone outside the two party system. This comes as no surprise with one of the candidates representing a complete rejection of traditional political practices and the other being a long standing member of the political world. Millennials may be looking for a happy medium, which Bernie Sanders likely represented for them, and opt for third party candidates which could affect the outcome of the general election by reapportioning votes that otherwise would have gone to Clinton or Trump.
How the votes will fall on November 8th remains to be seen, but it seems that Millennials will be playing a larger role this time around.