This fall’s midterms elections will be a crucial exercise for both parties: Republicans seek to hold their ground, Democrats must make some gains.
But just how do you move the fervor found in The Resistance to polling stations nationwide? More importantly, how do you light a fire under Millennials who can’t seem to be bothered with voting in anything other than a presidential election?
Well, it’s up to the Democrats to figure that one out.
While a social media presence and hashtag campaigns are certainly coveted in today’s age, they don’t always/don’t often translate into real-life wins. Moving interest from the pages of the internet to an actual ballot booth is a massive undertaking. And for young adults, the interest just isn’t there.
According to a recent survey report from PRRI, midterms aren’t looking good for those who want young, registered voters with a dislike for the commander-in-chief, emphasis mine.
Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to say they are sure to vote this year (59% vs. 56%). In 2014, Republicans held a considerable edge. More than two-thirds (68%) of Republicans, compared to only about half (51%) of Democrats, said they were absolutely certain to vote in 2014.
The generation gap in reported voting intent is massive. Only 28% of young adults say they are absolutely certain they will vote in the 2018 election compared to 74% of seniors.
As you may have guessed, older voters feel more positive about the 45th president than younger voters do.
Views about Trump also vary starkly by age. Seniors (age 65 or older) are about twice as likely as young adults (age 18-29) to have a favorable view of the president (53% vs. 28%).
And most crucial of all, older voters show up more regularly.
Young adults are much less likely than seniors to report being Consistent Voters (15% vs. 60%) and more likely to report being Non-Voters (21% vs. 7%).
Congressional power is just as important, often more so, than the presidency, but young adults just aren’t motivated enough to get out and participate in selecting the members of that legislative body.
This year, it seems that this specific laziness will be to the detriment of Democrats. And tweets such as this one will only go so far.
There are 49 million eligible young voters, yet only 28% can say with certainty that they will vote in the midterm elections. Let's get them registered & excited to vote. https://t.co/qUzZZsPDnr https://t.co/sPTGarLHyS
— Let America Vote (@letamericavote) July 26, 2018
Sure, Millennials may be passionate about their causes. They may slap bumper stickers on that hybrid car. They may even demonstrate for “reproductive freedom” in a red cape and white bonnet. They may even register to vote.
But showing up on election day? Slotting off time from work or play to stand in line with the older folks, cast a ballot, and get a sticker? Uh, don’t count on it.
Democrats are almost two years into the Trump administration and are absolutely desperate for some sort of political win. Right now, he hasn’t been impeached, there’s no proof he colluded with Russia, and the economy is good. Their only hope is some sort of gain at the midterm ballot box. To do that, they would need some Millennial help.
From the looks of it, they won’t get much support from kids who are eager to march on city streets but are much less inclined to head to their local precinct.