Democrats go out of their way to court young voters with things like hollow celebrity endorsements and flashy social media outreach. It worked well for President Barack Obama— but the current Democratic presidential nominee is having a tougher time impressing young America.
That’s according to a series of recent polls which show Clinton just barely edging out Libertarian Gary Johnson in support from younger voters.
A New York Times/CBS poll shows 26 percent of voters under the age of 29 supporting Johnson and a further 10 percent supporting Green presidential nominee Jill Stein. Similarly, a Quinnipiac poll shows Johnson at 29 percent of young voters, and Stein at 15. In that poll, Clinton barely edges out Johnson among young voters, getting 31 percent. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is at 26 percent among that demographic in the poll. Further, a Global Strategy Group poll of millennials in 11 battleground states found 73 percent of millennials saying that Trump was a racist, and just 38 percent supporting Clinton in a 4-way matchup.
The results have yielded unsurprising hand-wringing from older liberals who feel the vote of millennials belongs to them. Clara Jeffrey, editor-in-chief of Mother Jones, tweeted that she has “never hated millennials more” in response to the NYT/CBS poll, which earned refreshing responses from millennials. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, meanwhile, quips that it looked “like ‘liberaltarianism’ is a real thing” and that Donald Trump was “very glad” of it.
While she’s still beating Donald Trump in youth support, Clinton’s lagging numbers suggest that the Democratic Party is losing serious ground with the demographic.
The trend is likely the result of a couple of key factors.
First, despite Clinton’s relentless attempts to portray herself as cool and hip, young voters more often view the 68-year-old as an establishment political dinosaur. In addition, many of Sen. Bernie Sander’s young supporters are shunning the Clinton campaign out of disgust after the DNC hack revealed the extent to which party insiders went to demolish his primary campaign.