For young voters like me, we have the unprecedented opportunity to shift the paradigm of politics in America.
In an election where the two major parties have nominated unprecedently hated candidates, young voters are finding themselves drifting further and further away from both the Democrat and Republican parties. Many people find themselves in the same situation as me; this is our very first presidential election. The 18-22 age range has never voted for President before, and now they have the chance to put their names to a third party. The argument “a vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary” and vice versa does not apply to people like me. Our votes have never been cast in favor of a party and therefore our votes in 2016 will not be taking away from one side or another.
This isn’t just some sort of wishful thinking either, polls show that voters age 18-24 prefer Gary Johnson over both Trump and Clinton.
But interestingly enough, Investors Business Daily released their own poll recently, and found that Johnson is doing far better with the youth vote than the the McClatchy poll could tell.
When those polled were asked who they would choose to vote for between four candidates – the 4th being Jill Stein of the Green Party – Johnson came in first with 35%, with Clinton trailing with 30%. Trump placed 4th, once again, behind Jill Stein with 12% and 14% respectively.
As Brandon Morse points out, the Democrats typically lead in the young demographics by incredibly large margins. They put in a ridiculous amount of time and money to court the youth vote and they are still bleeding voters.
What makes this interesting is that the youth is typically a left leaning demographic, with the Democrat party often putting great effort into attracting them through pop-culture, and showy activism. However, while both mainstream parties have seen a bleed of voters, this swing away from the Democrat party shows just how bad things have gotten for the left.
This is a chance for young voters to make third parties relevant, but this also a chance for third parties to prove that they are legitimate, something they have yet to do. While Johnson, and now independent candidate Evan McMullin, are pulling away from the Democrats and Republicans, neither have shown any evidence that this is anything more than a protest vote.
The youth voters are ready to make third parties a thing, but only if the third parties can prove they deserve the support.