As the 2016 Republican primaries heat up, the question on everyone’s mind is ‘Who will get the Millennial vote?’ The Millennials are the most diverse generation in the US to date, and are larger than the Baby Boomers. CNN published an article this week titled Millennials: What They Want from a Candidate. The article features opinion pieces from 10 Millennials walking through their political thoughts.
Of note is that Millennials tend to evaluate both Republican and Democratic candidates without great regards for the two-party system. In the same post, one writer praises both Bernie Sanders’ free-tuition approach, and Marco Rubio’s perspective on growing up in an immigrant family that lived paycheck to paycheck.
A thread running through Millennial sentiment, of both party affiliations, is a return of the American Dream. The growing class divide, a sluggish economy, and extremely high student loan debts hit a breaking point with the Great Recession. We saw our parents’ generation, who had attended college, worked hard, and saved up for a better life, have all that they had worked for ripped away in one fell swoop. This has led to a malaise among Millennials, who often find that their expensive degrees don’t turn into jobs able to repay debt and grow equity. What we want is some sort of return to a social contract – that by educating ourselves, working hard, and making responsible choices, we can earn our place as successful citizens.