Political identity: how will seniors vote?

   With this election on everyone’s mind right now and November 8th only 9 days away, it’s hard to choose a candidate this year. While many are conflicted, a large group of voters are ignored: young ones. To be specific, high school seniors and soon to be college freshmen.

   For those 18-21, this is the first time they are allowed to vote for their next president. Some are just beginning to learn about politics. Some are well-informed. Some decided on their beliefs years ago. But when there seems to be a general dislike of both candidates, who do they choose?

   According to the McClatchy-Marist Poll, a survey of 1,132 adult voters in early August, Trump is not the candidate for those 18-29. He fell last overall, with Clinton holding 41%, Libertarian Gary Johnson 23%, Green Party Jill Stein 16%, and Trump with a 9%. However, 8% were undecided and 1% was voting another way.

   Teenagers underage to vote, however, had a somewhat equal amount between Democratic teens, Republican teens, and undecided, according to a teen poll by Fuse Marketing. What differs, however, is the fact many find the candidates unfavorable. 55% see Clinton as a poor choice, while 74% see Trump in the same light. Even stranger was the fact that Fuse’s mock election, with John Kasich, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders as well, was conducted, it was found that half of all teens in the election voted Sanders, while others barely reached 20%.

    On terms of how much power they have, Emily Franks, Adviser of the Young Democrats of America chapter at HR, says “For instance, in 2008, mobilizing the younger voters really helped. In regards to population and number, it’s hard to say, but I would say probably if they vote, they hold as much power.’’ Michael Wood, Adviser of the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at HR says “I believe, in the last two presidential elections, they had a huge influence on the outcome. I think this time, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump think that they really want to capture them, and it seems like Hillary Clinton has the inside track.” However, he also states that younger voters also see both of the candidate’s flaws.

While many young voters are presumed to be more liberal, not all teens share the same opinion, which makes it interesting to see how they will use their voices in November.

John Boughey, Staff Reporter 

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The HR Library prepares for the upcoming election. Voter registration will be offered in the library temporarily. PhotoCo: John Boughey

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