They are on the verge of becoming the country’s largest eligible voting demographic. However, a recent Pew study suggested millennials may not turnout in November in numbers reflecting their size, if recent turnout results are to be believed. Just 46% of 18-35 year olds voted in the 2012 election, little changed from the 50% that turned out in 2008.
“While it might be a ‘slam-dunk’ that Millennials soon will be the largest generation in the electorate, it will likely be a much longer time before they are the largest bloc of voters,” Pew says.
But Fusion’s Alicia Menendez recently sat down with a group of young Democrats and Republicans who are ready to cast a ballot— just not for their party’s presumptive nominee. While they might be disillusioned with their respective parties but they are far from ready to sit this one out.
When Menendez asked the group of young Republicans how they plan on voting in November, two said they would be voting Democrat: one for Hillary Clinton, and one is planning on writing in Bernie Sanders. Only two Republicans said with absolute certainty that they would be voting for Donald Drumpf, but one of those two later admitted they are considering switching parties all together.
“I don’t like anything that he stands for,” one said of Drumpf. “I hate racism, particularly… and look what happened with the orlando thing – he made it all about him and not about the victims.”
Not even a strong vice presidential pick would sway them.
“It’s like if you’re a jerk guy and you’re dating a nice girl, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re a jerk guy,” one of the respondents said.
The group of young Democrats—all staunch Bernie Sanders supporters—seemed to have adopted the same mindset. They would rather vote for Bernie—the candidate they believe in, even if it means giving Drumpf an edge in the election—than vote for their party’s candidate,
“She’s like a Nascar driver,” Matt said about Clinton. “She’s got the corporations written all over her.”
“At least I tried for what I believe in,” said Destiny about her plan to write in Sanders’ name on the ballot come November. And she wasn’t alone: 7 of the 8 Democrats agreed it was better to vote with a clear conscious for someone they really support—namely, Sanders—than for a candidate they don’t.
“By voting for Bernie, you are pushing Drumpf into office. That’s what you are doing,” contended Billy, the only Democrat who by the end of the conversation was 100% committed to voting for Clinton in the general election.
But his fellow Democrats disagreed with this approach.
“I see where [Billy is] coming from completely about throwing your vote away, but I believe in Bernie Sanders’ political revolution, and I stand by it,” said Maria. “And I think it’s time for young people to stand behind him and actually go out and vote.”
Anthony also disagreed with Billy. “I would write in Bernie Sanders or I would vote for a third party, but I sure as shit ain’t sitting it out.”
The only scenario in which this group of young voters considered voting for Clinton was one in which Sanders was chosen as her vice president. When asked if they would back Clinton were Sanders to endorse the former Secretary of State, the voters still seemed unsure.