In the upcoming election, Millennials will make up almost 36 percent of the eligible voting pool, which explains why so many candidates are doing their best to reach out to that demo group. The power of the 20-something vote is not lost on the Millennial generation. It's why we now have Vines of Hillary Clinton "just 'chillin' in Cedar Rapids" and can watch behind the scenes of the latest Republican debate on Snapchat.
However many candidates have found that simply reaching out to Millennials on the social media they populate is not enough to get their vote, or even to get them to show up at the polls. Despite the fact it is a generation actively paying more attention to politics, their voter turnout is low. Many political analysts say it's because even though young voters know their candidates, they don't like them or even like the entire political machine very much. Pew research supports that analysis, finding the number of young adults who consider themselves independent voters is up 50% from the previous generation.
So how do you get millennials to vote, if not with custom emojis and witty hashtags?
Listen up candidates! You have to look at the core values of the Millennial generation.
This generation that falls within the ages of 18 - 34 is not a trusting bunch. A Pew survey found 19% think people can't be trusted. They generally care more about social and ethical issues than previous generations and feel too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few big companies.
Potentially the best way to get Millennials to polls is by presenting them with candidates who have strong morals, no ties (or loose ties at best) to big business and a stellar list of reasons the candidate is trustworthy if elected. Depending on if the current political parties can find this magical candidate, they're sure to get the youth vote in the key swing states.
Right now polls are showing millennial support is leaning slightly more towards the left, but with a lot more campaigning to come, it's too early to say who will capture the Millennial's hearts, and for them that would mean snagging their votes. Right now both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are polling well in this key demographic, but underdogs like Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson could show just how powerful the Millennial vote can be, at least if they choose to actually show up at the polls.