Millennial Voting Trends
By: Araceli Ramirez
Millennials today are finding themselves racing to polls in an attempt to achieve various goals from political to civil issues like immigration, civil rights, and climate change, according to findings from the Millennial Report. This year, a survey by SurveyMonkey shows that 40 percent of 18-34 year olds say they are more involved in politics this year compared to last year. With the November midterms approaching, Millennials could have a great impact on the election.
In 2018 Pew Research declared that millennials fall between the ages of 22-37.
The following data was taken from Survey Monkey where 4,263 young adults weighed in on political issues in October 2018. Jobs and the economy top the list of the most important issues to them at 22 percent. The main reason millennials aren’t going to the poles this November is because there is a lack of information about the candidates.
Destiny Grooms is a senior at Wright State University who hopes to become more engaged in politics in the near future.
“I know that I should care and I should get involved and I know that it would be better, but I don’t have the best information coming my way to be able to make an accurate judgement,” she said. “I still feel like a kid and maybe my judgement is more skewed on what my friends are into. If you go and you watch them you just want them to stop yelling at each other, like just have a calm, cool conversation and maybe we’ll get somewhere.
“I’ve been talking about really getting more involved and active and exercise my right to vote because I know I should. I don’t even know what’s on the ballot that’s how out of it I am.”
Currently, 51 percent of 18-34 year olds strongly disapprove of President Donald Trump’s current moves in his administration. Surprisingly, 35 percent of the political viewpoints of millennials fall between that of the Democrats and the Republicans.
“I don’t affiliate myself with either party because I feel like the parties are there to distract and divide people,” said Robert Rodriguez, an economics student at Wright State University and first time voter. “People should be choosing policies based on what the best plan of actions is based on the current situation. The parties are distracting and full of polarizing opinions not based on facts or they magnify issues just to get you to resent the other party. The left and the right is a box inside the matrix and I’d rather be Neo and break free from the matrix.”
It has been a year full of controversial topics surrounding the country’s national politics. In a telephone interview by Gallup, 1,033 Americans said immigration is the biggest problem in the country, outweighing healthcare and the economy.
In recent news, the Wall Street Journal reported that, 5,000 citizens from Honduras are fleeing their country and migrating by caravan all the way up to the border between United States and Mexico.
Once they reach the wall, they hope to enter the U.S with hopes of starting a better life that is free from the violence and poverty that they experienced in their own country. President Donald Trump is trying to stop them from creating a national security problem.
“I disagree with the President sending them back because they come with children and they struggle to come to America,” said Ali Almarri, a Wright State University student. “If they arrive in America they should get asylum if they’re fleeing from war or struggling economically.”
Grooms added her perspective.
“If you look at America and history, people come from everywhere, this is supposed to be a safe haven where you’re accepted by everybody and it’s not,” she said. “I don’t think we should reject people but we should allow them to come in and give them the resources they need for help once they’re here.”.
Over 31,000 people ages 18-35 from 186 countries participated in a survey about topics ranging from the government, economics, society, and technology.
In Mexico, 71 percent of respondents said government corruption is their major concern, Switzerland is apprehensive about their aging population.
About 64 percent of Americans said, inequality and discrimination are the top issues facing their country in 2017.
Some local millennials are hitting the polls in the upcoming midterm election to fight for issues that are most important to them. State Issue One proposes a shorter jail time for drug offenders if they participate in a rehabilitation program. The change would also drop the offense to a misdemeanor.
Rodriguez thinks this is a good idea.
“If they go to rehab they won’t get a record. Then they can easily get a job which means more people will be working,” he said. “It will save taxpayers more money too because rehab would cost less than them being in jail and overall, there would be less people on drugs.”
Along the same lines, Grooms says she’s in favor of Issue One as well.
“I am in favor of Issue one. I grew up in Dayton so half the time people you know do some variation of drugs,” she said. “And I feel like you are not breaking the stigma of it by enforcing legal action. Half the time you catch people and it’s just weed, and that's nothing. So I feel that making it a misdemeanor and not sending them to jail, you’re not going to be flooding your prisons with people that don’t need to be there.”
Strong stances on these issues and worry for the future could be a reason why 49 percent of millennials said they would absolutely vote in the 2018 midterms, which will have a big impact on the election results.
“I will be voting this year because I feel like the majority of the government officials in office don’t have values and morals that match my own,” Rodriguez said. “I realized that the people who have a jaded self interest, don’t have the welfare of all people in mind [and] are the ones who are showing up to the polls and picking losers that don’t get anything done except fatten their pockets,” said Rodriguez.
Information from the Millennial Report, shows that millennials are trying to make an impact by voting, signing online petitions, participating in marches, and sharing information on social media.
Social Media and the Movement to VoteThe increased use of social media by today’s politicians has led to an increase of a millennial political movement on social media platforms. Forbes states that politicians will budget nine percent of their funds to expand their digital presence.
Snapchat was the most recent platform to join the wave by introducing a popup that directs voters to the voter registration page.
The New York Times says, that 400,000 people registered to vote in just two weeks.
On Twitter, ELLE Magazine posted the headline "Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are splitting up" once people clicked on the story, there were redirected to a voter registration page.
ELLE later issued an apology saying it was, “a bad joke.”
At Beauty Bakerie you can get a discount on makeup if you post of photo of yourself at the polls.
On Instagram, @BuzzFeedTasty featured a red, white, and blue rice krispy treat recipe. The image caption contained information about how to get to the polls and why people should vote.
On YouTube a video made headlines, as it encouraged millennials to refrain from voting by saying, “Dear young people, don’t vote.”
Rodriguez’s closing argument sums up the importance of voting to a key.
“It’s your choice to vote or not to vote,” he said. “Just know that the devil shows up every time to the elections to cast his vote.”
Rodriguez warns,“There’s more good than there is evil out there, but if all the good people don’t believe their vote matters and choose not to cast theirs, then evil will outnumber the good in the government.”