In recent elections, millennials have participated in droves to the advantage of Democrats and President Barack Obama, and control of the Senate may indeed turn on whether or not Democrats can corral young people to the polls Tuesday.
But according to a recent Harvard University poll, only 26 percent of Americans age 18 to 29 say they will “definitely vote,” indicating significant disinterest in the less popular midterm elections.
That same poll found that 51 percent of millennials who say they will “definitely be voting” on Tuesday prefer a Republican-run Congress, with only 47 percent favoring Democrat control.
It seems young voters – who historically tend to vote Democrat – are disillusioned with their preferred political party. So they may sit this one out.
“It’s all rigged, Obama didn’t do what he said he would but the Republicans are no good either. Neither look after the middle class, why bother?” Carl Ackley, a music student and senior at SUNY Purchase, told The College Fix.
Ashley Spillane, who leads “Rock the Vote,” a popular activist group that visits college campuses in an effort to get the youth to engage in the political process, suggested young people are tired of being falsely pandered to.
“If people were paying attention to young people in an authentic way, actually caring about those issues, you’d see a much higher turnout rate,” she told CBS news.
Some campus newspapers echo similar sentiments.
“It would be one thing if Democrats truly disagreed with the president’s core policies like minimum wage increases, student loan reform, and continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act—but they don’t,” an editorial in Harvard University’s Crimson student newspaper declared. “Missing a photo op while privately endorsing all the president’s proposals is just the kind the shallow and superficial politicking that has turned Americans against Democratic leadership.”
The Republican National Committee is even confident millennials will turn out for them, saying their new campus captain program has engaged young people and educated them about how Obama has fumbled the economic recovery and other missteps.
“We’re making sure students know that the GOP stands up for free market innovators, like Uber, for better education through school choice and for lower health care costs,” said Elliott Echols, the RNC National Youth Director, in an opinion column. “Gone are the days of liberal demagoguery standing unchallenged on campuses.”
Some Democrats openly acknowledge they are locked in a losing battle in trying to sway younger voters to head to the polls.
Jim Manley, former spokesperson for Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) grimly told The Hill that for millennials, Obama’s mantra of hope and change has “hit a brick wall.”
College Fix reporter Michael Sorge is a student at SUNY Purchase.
IMAGE: Young Americans for Liberty