Here's why millennials' votes are the hardest to win in the US presidential elections

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with a supporter in Sioux City, Iowa.  Cover credit: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press Source: LA Times 

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes a selfie with a supporter in Sioux City, Iowa. 
Cover credit: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
Source: LA Times 

The world may have been feeding on every bit of news that has to do with the U.S. presidential elections for the past few months but this does not quite seem to be the case for America’s largest generation, as the whole Clinton vs. Trump dilemma is not exactly compelling enough for millennials to take action.

1. Millennials are uninterested in organized politics. Recent studies have shown that millennials do not believe the traditional two-party system to be effective in attending to their concerns. A recent Pew Research Center poll revealed that 50 percent of millennials currently describe themselves as political independents while around 29 percent of them do not report to be affiliated with any particular religion. “These are at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century that the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics,” the official website reads.

2. There is no single cause/idea that unifies them all. Millennials are interested in a number of social issues including activism, minority rights and the environment. However, there is no single issue/cause that is weighty enough as to unify them all, which makes it hard for campaign managers to tailor messages that would actually appeal to most of them, especially that they are also considered to be the most racially diverse generation which further disperses their interests.

Related: What makes millennials vote in this election year?

3. Their media consumption habits do not emphasize traditional media. As self-professed digital natives, millennials are not swayed by traditional election campaigns that rely heavily on TV and other traditional media to lure and mobilize voters. This does not only complicate the task of campaign managers but also constrains them to create multiple messages that are tailored to each and every popular social network while also struggling to appeal to the multiple interests of their target millennial audience.

4. They are low on social trust. Pew Research Center findings have also reported millennials to have entered adulthood with low levels of social trust as only 19 percent of millennial respondents said most people can be trusted, compared to older generations (31 percent of Gen Xers and 40 percent of baby boomers). This is due in part to feelings of vulnerability among minorities and low-income adults who make up a large chunk of US millennials today.

Related: A student’s guide to the 2016 US presidential race

5. They are the most educated yet most financially challenged generation. Despite being the most academically accomplished generation, millennials face tremendous economic hardships due in the most part to the high levels of student debt they have accumulated, which leaves them with more day-to-day challenges than their older, wealthier age cohorts.


Christina Fakhry