Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton may have a surprisingly simple — but effective — solution to her Millennial problem.
The fact that Clinton’s support among Millennial voters lags significantly behind Bernie Sanders has become a literal joke, as the skit from Saturday Night Live recently aired plainly shows. In fact, the Vermont senator has managed to expand upon his already commanding double-digit lead among the youth voters, but the new USA Today/Rock the Vote poll shows that the lead may not actually be problematic for Clinton if she gets the Democratic nomination, as long as Donald Trump is the one opposing her.
It seems as though opposition to a potential Trump presidency unites the younger generation with the older.
In a hypothetical Clinton versus Trump primary in November, voters under the age of 35 would choose Clinton by a whopping 52 percent to 19 percent, a huge lead that crosses not just generational boundaries but demographic lines, as well. Among white voters, she’d be supported nearly 2 to 1 at 45 percent to 26 percent. Among Hispanics, the support is even more strongly in Clinton’s favor by more than 4 to 1, at 61 percent to 14 percent. Among Asian Americans, the numbers are 5 to 1 for Clinton over Trump, at 60 percent to 11 percent. And among African American voters, Clinton clearly crushes her opponent with a 13 to 1 lead, at 67 percent to 5 percent.
Millennials may be feeling the bern, but it seems as though a Trump candidacy would push many of them into the Clinton camp. Even the massive gender gap she has against Sanders would virtually disappear, as the recent poll shows Clinton would carry young men and women by almost identical margins of more than 2 to 1.
Furthermore, nearly one in four Republicans report that they would “defect to the Democrats” if Trump becomes the GOP nominee to run against Clinton, whereas only 7 percent of Democrats would cast their lot in with the GOP in a Clinton versus Trump primary.
“Trump would kind of make a mockery out of America,” explained Cameron Lee Craig, 25, a stay-at-home mom from Ohio, who participated in the poll. “He’s kind of a jerk.”
Sanders continues to lead Clinton among the youth vote, which was so instrumental in the election of President Barrack Obama, by 54 percent to 37 percent, which actually builds upon the 11-point lead he held in January. Perhaps surprisingly, Sanders leads Clinton among Millennial women by an astounding 61 percent to 30 percent, while he leads among Millennial men by a more slender margin of 48 percent to 44 percent.
But, Sanders’ undoubted advantage among Millennials may not be an insurmountable gap if Clinton is paired against Trump.
“He’s a people-person and will bring a freshness to the country,” Tracy Wanjiku, 21, explains in her support for Sanders. But she does not hesitate to throw her support behind Clinton in November, if Clinton is running against Trump. “I would vote for Hillary — not that I’m in much favor of her, but I think Donald Trump… his idea of politics is way too over-the-top. It’s scary, to be honest.”
Simply put, although Hillary Clinton is not exactly a candidate that Millennial voters are fired up over, she is much more acceptable within her party than Trump is in his. One in five Republicans in the survey say they would stay home in a Clinton-Trump election, compared with one in 10 Democrats.
However, the new poll does indicate that one in five Millennial voters say that they would stay home on election day rather than vote for either Trump or Clinton. This does indicate that, if Clinton nabs the nomination for the Democratic party, she may need to rely on Sanders in order to energize the Millennials who have thrown their support in behind him.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News]