When Will We See A #Millennial Congress? – Linda Killian 12.26.14

Millennials—rich or otherwise—have been notoriously uninterested in politics. So how do you mobilize a cynical generation?

ZUMA Press/Alamy

Whether it is entertainment, consumer goods or almost anything else that can be purchased, viewed or clicked on, Millennials are the most coveted demographic. There are about 80 million Americans between the ages of 18-34 and next year they are expected to spend $2.45 trillion.

But when it comes to politics and national policy they have relatively little clout because most of them don’t reliably vote and aren’t major political contributors. These young adults have voluntarily checked out of a political system they consider corrupt and dysfunctional.

Last month, a Gallup poll showed Barack Obama’s standing with white millennials down to 34 percent, the lowest rating of his presidency among this group, which reflects not only the disaffection young Americans have with the president but also with both parties and politics in general.

Despite being the country’s largest adult demographic the Millennial participation rate in the November midterm elections was the worst of any age group. Only about 21 percent of adult Millennials cast a ballot and exit polls showed that voters 30 and younger represented only 13 percent of the electorate. However, in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections they were the largest bloc of voters.

The unevenness of Millennial political participation is driven in part by apathy and by the belief that politics is not the way to solve problems. This feeling has been exacerbated by the political dysfunction in Washington and by their disappointment that Obama has not delivered on his promise to change the political system.

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