The young vote in the US

A lot of young people in the US are not happy with the current political system and what it delivers. Many of them are also not happy with the two major party choices in the presidential  election.

Bernie Sanders got a lot of his support from the younger age group. This demographic now has the dilemma of whether to punish Hillary in the polling booths, or doing what they can to keep Donald Trump out.

There could be a rise in support for other candidates – there are others standing for president but it’s hard to tell what impact this will have on the end result.

Alternet: Are Young Voters Sick of the Two-Party System?

As the reality of a “binary choice” between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump becomes all too clear, a large portion of young voters are rejecting the two-party system that has long dominated the U.S. political scene.

According to a poll by GenForward, only 28 percent of people in the crucial 18-30 demographic agree that the “two major parties do a good job of representing the American people.”

The future looks even bleaker for the Republicans: more than two-thirds of young voters—and especially young minority voters—say the Grand Old Party does not care about them. (First step to fix this, I humbly submit: choose a more subtle, less ageist nickname.)

Comparatively, support among millennials is much stronger for the Democratic Party. Fifty-three percent of young Americans say Democrats care about the issues important to them. According to a USA Today poll, about half of young people surveyed identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning.

Bernie gave many of them hope for something radically different, but Clinton, the establishment candidate, got the nomination.

“It’s hard to overemphasize how completely and utterly Sen. Bernie Sanders dominated the youth vote to this point in the 2016 presidential campaign,” the Washington Post reported in June. “In the 2016 campaign, Sanders won more votes among those under age 30 than the two presumptive major-party presidential nominees combined. And it wasn’t close.”

A 2014 Pew study found that people born after 1980, “are more racially diverse and socially liberal than any other age group,” the New York Times reports. And while millennials tend to agree the Democratic Party is generally more in line with their liberal values, “40 percent of those in this age group say they are politically independent.”

That’s a lot of potential swing voters. Their problem this year is the poor choices they have for major party candidates.

Among those early supporters of a Sanders presidency and progressive platform, a July poll by the Hill found almost half were considering supporting a third-party candidate in lieu of Clinton.

That could easily make the difference – between votes for Clinton and Trump.

The Economic Times: Majority of US young adults reject Donald Trump: Poll

Despite US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s strategy of patching together a bipartisan coalition by appealing to the millions of young supporters of former Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, a new poll found that his populist play had so far failed among millennials.

The latest USA Today/Rock the Vote poll released on Sunday found that while 56 per cent of voters under 35 say they would vote for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, one in five in this age .

The number of the Millennial generation, now 18-34, was estimated to be 75.4 million.

About half of all those polled (54% of Trump supporters and 51% of Clinton supporters) say they will vote to keep one candidate out rather then for the other candidate. The least worst voting option.

Yesterday I spoke with a twenty year old from Idaho, currently studying at Otago.

She said she feels embarrassed about the state of politics and the candidates on offer. She has been politically active – she didn’t say but I suspect she was one of the Sanders supporters. She will probably vote to keep Trump out, so she is similar to many who were polled.

They may have missed out getting their preferred candidate nominated this time but the young voters may be a deciding demographic if someone can tap into their determination to do things markedly different. That looks like having to wait until 2020, but by then it may take someone closer to their age group than Sanders, who I suspect won’t try again then. He turns 75 next month.

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