It's Time to Give up on Young Voters

AP featured image
Voters wait in line to cast their ballot on the Super Tuesday, at a voting center in Alhambra, Calif., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)



We’re less than 100 days away from the 2020 election. The polling for President Donald Trump is not good. If the election were held today, he would lose and the Republicans would lose the Senate.

It’s not that the polls are wrong, or that they’re skewed in any sort of meaningful way. The President’s team knows he and the Republican Party are in trouble. There is a reason Brad Parscale was fired, and there is a reason they put up a replacement that knows how to win the suburbs.

The suburbs are one of many areas that the Republicans need to win to at least maintain the status quo. They also need to win back blue-collar workers, which will be tough given that Trump’s opponent isn’t someone whose campaign hates blue-collar workers. He will struggle in some areas, but he has the opportunity to win some voters back and even gain some new voters if a few conditions (like a rebounding economy) are met.

There is one segment of voters that both the Democrats and Republicans would love to get out and vote for them: Young voters.

They’re the Holy Grail of electoral politics, and each side is just certain that if they just find the right message, they’ll win them over. Bernie Sanders thought he had the right message because young voters were all over social media praising him and his campaign for finally pushing the ideas they wanted.

Except that they never turned out to actually vote for him. They never do. Hard to imagine they ever will.

Much like the socialist grab bag of ideas that Sanders put out there, young voters want politicians to give them the things they call for. Whether the young kids are inherently conservative or progressive, they want their preferred politicians to just give those things over, but they don’t want to have to actually work to win those elections. They don’t go out and vote and they don’t practice any sort of political activism that requires actually driving people out to the polls for their preferred candidates.


Imagine how different the political landscape would look if young voters were more engaged and went out to vote in the numbers we know they have. Would we have two geriatrics who are both losing their minds debating on whether or not to… actually debate? Would the Democrats’ last hope be on someone who half the time doesn’t know where he is and would the Republicans be forced to hold their noses and vote for someone a lot of the more moderate ones find personally contemptible?

Doubtful. Chances are we’d see someone a little younger and fresher on both sides. But we won’t see that.

So, I don’t think the political parties should waste their time on those voters anymore. They have to earn their spot at the grown-ups’ table. If young voters don’t want old, out of touch candidates representing them, then they had better start actually working to make the changes. Otherwise, they’ll continue to be nothing more than children upset at the world but not motivated enough to change it.


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