I started writing and I wanted to “blog” about millennials and politics. I started off with a title that read “why the far right winged millennial is a myth”. It was supposed to be an eye catcher, and when I started by looking at the data, surveyed statistics, and pre-polls I found more than I bargained for.
The funny thing is, nobody understands this generation. A simple Google search for the keyword “millennial politics” and the first 4 results read (as of 8/30/2016):
- “Millennials are the most moderate [unusual] of any generation…”
- Millennials Political Views Don’t Make Any Sense
- When it Comes to Politics, Do Millennials Care About Anything?
- The Political Revolution of The Millennial Generation
Needless to say, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to quantify the ideological leanings of this generation (myself included) compared to other generations. Rather than go on about why this is so, which is a dead horse that has been beaten to dust and still hangs around somewhere with a bat inscribed with ‘for good measure’ on the side, I went and around looked for some better insight.
According to the PEW Research Center, from 2004 to 2014 (aside: an whole decade which exceeds two entire presidential terms, but not election cycles if one were to consider the onset of campaigning) millennials have been consistently trending towards ‘Independent’ with losses coming from both the Democrats’ and Republicans’ supporter bases. In fact, the increase in ‘Independents’ has spread across all generations. This is in line with general population voting trends across all ethnic groups according to Harvard Political Review, although this only contains the years from 2009 to 2013. I am making an assumption here, in that I’m assuming that ‘Independents’ choose to not vote rather than vote for a Republican or Democrat.
But what to make of this? We know from a wide breadth of studies that Millennials are disenfranchised like Baby Boomers, anti-establishment like Generation X, and technologically savvy like Generation Z, but what is their special sauce? What do they do differently that makes them so unique?
If we use a microscope to magnify our understanding of the Millennial Generation, we can (like with many things in life) get a better and more insightful picture. I recommend this infographic (link to article with infographic, for infographic direct link click here) from Ink or Niche.com which is an usually well done survey.j Please note that this is for millennials who graduated from high school from 2011 to 2016, which moreso the later half of millennials as a subset.
What is surprising is I dissected the data and found:
- 88% of Millennials seek information for political news (1-x logic)
- Only 12% of millennials are not interested in political news (see above)
- Up 43% of political influences come from outside of parents
- The private sector (private media) accounts for almost half (43%) of non-government opinion influences
- 94% plan to vote in 2016 (as of the midterm elections), and almost half of those not planning to vote were not of voting age
- Only 4% of millennials trust Reddit as a political news source
- Only 9% of millennials trust Twitter as a political news source (ironically I tweeted this blog post)
- Only 1/4th of millennials share what their political opinion is on social media
All of these are good data points, so little time to go over each one…
I’ll try to end this blog post quickly here, unless somebody wants me to write about it then sure please msg or email me or something. But anyways-
What we can see from these statistical findings are counter-intuitive. While millennials are becoming more independent as a whole, they are actually extremely politically motivated as a group. They are open to outside influence, meaning they are open minded, but may not necessarily feel the need to share their personal opinions for the world to see.
A lot more could be said, but that’s enough for now.
Millennials are secretly politically minded.