SAN JOSE, Calif. – Associate Professor Melinda Jackson, Chair of the Political Science Department at San Jose State University says that young American voters are paying close attention to this year’s presidential election.
“The millennials get a bad rap for not necessarily paying attention to politics or being engaged but I am not seeing that this year,” said Jackson. My students in the classroom and here tonight are definitely interested in this election.”
Hillary Clinton is 16 points ahead of Donald Trump among registered voters aged 18-34, according to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll.
Although Clinton’s lead drops to 12 points when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are added to the poll.
Professor Jackson says that voters should vote freely but should also be realistic.
“No vote is a wasted vote because it expresses your opinion,” said Jackson. “It’s not going to be the other two. When it comes down to Trump versus Clinton, I think a lot of young people may choose Clinton because they don’t like Trump.”
This may be the last election where the baby boomer generation dominates the majority of the votes, according to Pew Research Center Analysis of Census Data.
As of July millennials and those from Generation X make up an estimated 126 million eligible voters compared to the 98 million boomers and adults from prior generations.
Both parties are aware of this information which will help them strategize better when going after younger voters in future elections.