Could America’s youth help Bernie Sanders become the Democratic party’s nominee?
That is to be determined, but some interesting facts for you to know as the country contemplates the success of the Vermont Senator’s caucus showings in Nevada, New Hampshire and Iowa.
Millennials lean more liberal than any generation that came before them, according to a 2015 Pew Research poll—41% say that their political values are either consistently liberal or mostly liberal.
It’s too early to know Gen Z’s political leanings, but they are the most diverse generation in the United States—50% are Caucasian and 50% are other ethnicities, according to a Merrill Lynch study. The key to the Nevada win was the diversity of the voters—only 66% are Caucasian, which means Sanders is attracting a diverse population.
In 2008, Millennials overwhelming went for Barak Obama—66% of them voted for him, which means they voted for diversity, among other things. Sanders is obviously not an ethnically diverse candidate, but he touts causes that are important to diverse voters.
In addition, gun violence and climate change are issues that cause Gen Zers significant stress, and they are causes that liberals champion. Not surprisingly, Sanders is strong on climate change and has found middle ground with gun control, but supports something that is important to Gen Zers, which is mental health checks.
We still do not know how strongly young voters will turn out in the Democratic Presidential primaries, not to mention in November for the general election. But, if they do, one thing is clear, they will have an impact, because...
Millennials are the largest generation in the workforce, surpassing the Baby Boomers.
Gen Z is the largest generation in the country. Pew research estimates that there are 77 million Gen Zers in the United States, which is 22% of the U.S. population.*
*Depending on what birth years you use (I use Pew Research data), Gen Zers are 23 years old and younger in 2020. That means voters between the ages of 18 and 23 are Gen Zers.