For decades, older generations of voters have dominated at the polls, and in 2016, they may still be true. In future presidential and local elections, though, the tide will turn to Generation X and the Millennials. A recent Fox News poll conducted between September 11 and 14 showed that a striking number of voters under the age of 35 would rather have Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders running against Donald Trump in the general election.
Fox News partnered with Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research, which together polled a random sample of 1,006 registered voters. Of those voters, 867 are likely to vote in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. Landlines and cell phone numbers were both contacted in roughly equal numbers.
The poll, which has a +/- of about 3 percent, shows overwhelming support for former candidate Bernie Sanders. Although the total number of voters polled showed that only 43 percent preferred Sanders, 77 percent of voters under the age of 35 preferred him.
Apparently, though, the pollsters did not record voters between the ages of 35 and 54, because those numbers are not available. Still, Millennials and their older siblings, Generation X, have their fair share of the voting population. According to Pew Research Center, about 126 million Gen Xers and Millennials are eligible to vote in July 2016. That is more than one-third of the total population of the United States, which has a population of more than 324 million, according to U.S. Census Bureau.
In recent days, Hillary’s health has been at the forefront of the news cycle — at least on social media. Mainstream media has largely ignored her health issues, but Millennials (and Generation X) are more plugged into the internet than to their television sets, and information flows at the speed of light.
Millennials alone now outnumber Baby Boomers. As of April 2016, the United States has 75.4 million Millennials, while Baby Boomers come in at 74.9 million. Again, Pew Research Center notes that as the Boomers begin to die off, the Millennial generation will grow as a result of immigration and nationalization of legal immigrants in the United States.
When Clinton collapsed on September 11 while being helped into her van, social media had a feeding frenzy, with calls for her to drop out. CNN, conversely, downplayed the incident, saying she stumbled when video evidence showed she essentially collapsed into the van.
Even prior to this, a large swath of voters declared that if Bernie Sanders did not win the nomination, they would never vote for Hillary. And they’re not just members of the Millennial generation. They’re Generation X. They’re Baby Boomers. And some are even older. One of the larger Facebook groups to support Bernie Sanders still has a membership total of more than 31,000, with new members added on a daily basis.
This is significantly affecting Clinton’s overall polling, as Cenk Uygur posted on Twitter on Monday.
“Clinton is now up only by 0.7 percent nationwide. Democratic Party establishment — this is the candidate you geniuses thought was more electable.”
NBC News reports some troubling figures for Clinton as well: In key swing states, Millennials are turning away from her. Some who supported Bernie Sanders are turning to the Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein, while others have chosen Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
In states around the country, various polls, like the Quinnipiac and the CBS/YouGov poll, show Clinton either barely winning or losing to Republican nominee Donald Trump by just a few percentage points.
The Quinnipiac poll showed support for Clinton had dropped from 48 percent in August to just 31 percent less than one month later in September among voters aged 18 to 34.
In a flurry of damage control activity, President Obama has been making the rounds on the campaign trail to vouch for Clinton, but Millennials aren’t buying. Not even Bernie Sanders himself can convince this group to vote for the Democratic nominee. At a recent rally in New Hampshire. Bernie urged voters to choose Clinton. The response was lukewarm at best, and the Washington Post reports that the crowds have not been supportive of Bernie’s message in favor of Clinton.
Clinton’s health issue isn’t the only problem the for campaign. Monday, the Inquisitr reported that a former Clinton IT tech allegedly asked Reddit how to mask or cover up a “VERY VIP” client’s emails. Since the revelation that it was likely Paul Combetta who posted the question, more voters are leaving Hillary and expressing regret that Bernie Sanders was not nominated.
Pew Research Center discusses the upswing of Generation X and Millennial participation in elections across the board. Both generations are poised to take over where the Boomers are leaving off to become the biggest voting bloc in the nation. As statistics show, the older a group gets, the more active voters they become. In four more years, then, the two groups — especially the Millennials — could have an even more powerful voice in local, state, and federal elections. Even though Bernie Sanders was not nominated, 2016 was a glimpse into the power Millennials have to influence future elections.
[Feature Image by John Minchillo/AP Images]