So, the Harvard University Institute of Politics’ new poll on Millennial political attitudes going into the 2016 cycle exposed some interesting aspects, though most reiterate what’s already known about this peculiar voting bloc: most of their views don’t make sense.
While young voters want Democrats to maintain control of the White House, they don’t want Hillary Clinton replacing Obama. That’s right; Millennials are feeling the Bern, favoring Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) by a 6-point margin, but only after falling 12 points with this demographic since the spring. Sixty-six percent also said that Sanders’ democratic socialist views made no difference in gauging whether to vote for him or not.
Regarding the top three characteristics Millennials are looking for in the 2016 field is integrity, level-headedness, and authenticity. So, no wonder why they’re not leaning towards Clinton, but we all know she’s going to be the nominee, so what are Millennials really looking for? Clinton embodies every characteristic that isn’t on the young people’s list. She's regarded as untrustworthy, fake, dishonest, or a liar. Will this focus on integrity become watered down as well when it becomes apparent that she will be the 2016 nominee for the Democratic Party? You bet. Millennials hold political views that are so ridiculously fungible–they don’t make any sense.
Most young people can’t truly define socialism. They’re against affirmative action programs, though they whine about the lack of safe spaces on college campuses. They are distrustful of government and care about privacy, but 40 percent think that businesses safeguard their information. They support big government programs, but are open to the privatization of Social Security and Medicare. In May, The Atlantic added to this ball of confusion.
Young people support big government, unless it costs any more money. They're for smaller government, unless budget cuts scratch a program they've heard of. They'd like Washington to fix everything, just so long as it doesn't run anything. That's all from a new Reason Foundation poll surveying 2,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29. Millennials' political views are, at best, in a stage of constant metamorphosis and, at worst, "totally incoherent," as Dylan Matthews puts it. It's not just the Reason Foundation. In March, Pew came out with a similar survey of Millennial attitudes that offered another smorgasbord of paradoxes:
- Millennials hate the political parties more than everyone else, but they have the highest opinion of Congress.
- Young people are the most likely to be single parents and the least likely to approve of single parenthood.
- Young people voted overwhelmingly for Obama when he promised universal health care, but they oppose his universal health care law as much as the rest of the country ... even though they still pledge high support for universal health care. (Like other groups, but more so: They seem allergic to the term Obamacare.)
Well, it’s these people who are being polled. Yeah, I'm not too particularly fond of my generation's political disposition either.