Oh those Millennials! We older folks wring our hands, ascribing to the younger generation all of the bad habits that our own parents ascribed to ours. One of the more popular accusations is that they don’t vote, and aren’t civically involved.
But what do we really know about the voting habits of this particular generation? A recent survey shines some light; from it we learn that 30% typically vote in presidential elections, but not in local elections, while 38% typically vote in both presidential and local elections.
Twenty-eight percent don’t typically vote in either.
A whopping 91% say they plan to vote in the 2016 presidential election. (File this one under “remains to be seen.”)
So–for those who do actually follow through and vote, for whom will they be casting those ballots? Forty-one percent identify as Democrats; 21% as Republican. (That difference ought to be a wake-up call to the GOP, but I’m not holding my breath.) The rest either call themselves independent or claim not to identify with any political party (I didn’t see how the question was framed, so I’m not sure what difference there is between these two choices).
Interestingly, although 31% admit to being politically influenced by their parents or family, 32% say their families are highly unlikely to influence their vote choices.
And what about the widely-held belief that social issues are of primary importance to the Millennial generation? Forty percent say financial issues are primary, 25% say social issues, and 35% say the two are equally important.
There’s much more. Millennial will follow the 2016 campaign on TV (72%) and Facebook (56%), trailed by online news sources, newspapers, Twitter and other social media.
The survey has sobering news for the growing number of lesser-knowns who are running for President:
59% have never heard of Martin O’Malley
59% have never heard of Jim Webb
67% have never heard of Lincoln Chafee
51% have never heard of Scott Walker
55% have never heard of Bernard Sanders
58% have never heard of Bobby Jindal
57% have never heard of Carly Fiorina
49% have never heard of Ben Carson
Finally, a bit of good news for Hillary Clinton: 70% of women say it’s very important to them that the candidate they vote for is a woman; 30% of men think the same.
Here is a link to the full survey. Have fun.
Sheila Suess Kennedy, J.D. is the Professor of Law and Public Policy in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis and former Director of the Center for Civic Literacy. She is the Executive Editor for the Journal of Civic Literacy. This post was originally published on the blog, sheilakennedy.net and is republished here with the permission of the author.