Clinton lost the election, but a USA Today poll shows that she won among millennials.
The issue is that she did not win with the same margin as Obama in 2008. According to Philly.com, Obama collected 60% versus Clinton’s 54%, which along with decreased support from minority groups, may have cost her the election.
What rhetoric did Hillary use to lose the millennial vote? Surely her support from millennial idols Beyoncé and Jay-Z helped. Also receiving support from Obama should have motivated his voters, but it didn’t. The International Business Times reports “half of young voters said they were ‘fearful,’ not ‘hopeful,’ about the future of the U.S,” which is opposite of Obama’s slogan of Hope. Coming out of the Bush presidency, millennials depended on hope from a younger platform to speak for them. Clinton did not meet these demands in the same way as an elderly, untrustworthy option for the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders stole much of her younger voters’ support, even though he endorsed her. Third party candidates also stole many millennial votes from her.
Could Hillary have won the millennial vote with a different rhetorical approach? Millennials did not resonate her despite her attempts to seem like the selfie taking, Galifinakis fan, which may have made her seem more inauthentic than she was. While she emphasized the importance of the future of her granddaughter, she needed to focus more on the immediate future of America, millennials to better address how despite their fear, there is hope that millennial will have opportunities to survive in America.
President Obama has been to serving as surrogate and revive millennials to vote for Clinton. The NY Times reports that President Obama is visiting universities in two tightly contested states where blacks and millennials are “two constituencies that played an important role in propelling Mr. Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.” (NYTimes) He spoke at Chapel Hill, Miami, and Jacksonville to mobilize the bright new future of America, many who are voting for the first time.
Obama’s rhetoric at his Miami speech at Florida International University included reciprocating that he loves his audience, something Clinton and Trump do voice as well. It is apparent they are sad to see him go, but Obama wants his progress to continue.He also says, “we need to finish what we started 8 years ago,” understanding that some college students were only ten when he first entered office. In a Southern dialect, like Clinton and Bush before him, reaches out to a millennials on a key issue to them, gas prices. While the war is not as relevant to millennials, gas prices are, and Obama stresses his progress to not depend on foreign oil.
USA Today also stresses how important surrogates are for the millennial vote is in this election. They report that her endorsements from Obama, and Bernie Sanders have been the most influential on convincing millennials against going for Trump, he though the favor Obama and Sanders more.
Obama was featured in a recent National Geographic film , Before the Flood, where Leonardo DiCaprio spoke as the US Ambassador for the Environment to motivated those to vote Democratic in consideration of Environmental rights. They used images to verify flooded cities and “terrifying shame” that young generations face if we do not act on global warming. President Obama’s warning of the detriments of Trump’s ignorance to vital issues such as pipeline breaks and fracking are crucial, especially in Georgia. Millennials resonate with DiCaprio, a millennial himself, and unlike older, decided voters who watch cable, millennial voters are more open to watching Netflix and trusting DiCaprio, a millennial, and the younger impressionable Obama to persuade the voters Clinton needs to win the millennial vote and the presidency.
A recent TIME article notes that younger voters, after watching the debates, have decided to cast their votes for Clinton for having a calmer, more relatable presence. Although younger voters still have “deep reservations about the private email server and Clinton Foundation controversies and are suspicious of Clinton’s interventionist foreign policy and support on Wall Street,” they have overlooked these things after recognizing a newly presented authentic fighting style. (TIME) Clinton clearly addressed the concerns younger voters had about her seeming scripted, and in the final debate came out as a victor of appearing the most presidential.
At a rally in Philadelphia, she addresses the importance of younger voters, saying, “I think it’s pretty obvious that young people, like all of you that I am seeing in front of us tonight—this election matters to everybody but it matters more to you.” (TIME) This was a crucial statement to make, considering that voters ages 18-35 have grown bigger than baby boomers for the first election ever. Teddy Goff, Clinton’s chief digital strategist, knew she would have a more difficult task promoting Clinton over the younger, hipper, Barack Obama. However, Goff has pushed the image of an honest Clinton instead of a cool Clinton to resonate with millennials.
TIME also notes that younger voters have a “refined radar for political BS talk,” which comes with more selective media outlets through social media. While Clinton’s likability has been a slow process, Clinton has finally addressed the issues that matter to millennials in a way that Trump hasn’t, and therefore, she will win.
In the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton addressed millennials by saying she wants more technical education and community colleges. She also mentioned working with Bernie Sanders to make public universities debt free for families who make less than $125,000 a year. This was the extent of her addressing millennials, making points which she had all ready made in previous speeches. Provided that millennials are one of the main demographics she needs votes from in order to win, she could have said more to them, or at least brought up fresh ideas.
The day after, she tweeted, “”If you’re a young person worried about affording college, [Hillary] has a plan to make your education tuition-free.” —@FLOTUS Flotus refers to First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Younger black voters may find it easier to accept Clinton, assuming that they respect Obama.
I belive Clinton does not need to particularly emphasize any one group in order to win the election. In my opinion, Trump’s temper issues have made it nearly impossible for him to pick up more votes. Clinton does not need to use a particular type of rhetoric in order to win the millennial vote because she knows that Trump doesn’t address millennials at all.
Does Clinton need the majority of the millennial vote? Yes. Does she have it? The Ipsos poll conducted October 11-13 for United States citizens aged 18-35 have her favored over Trump. The communication strategies Clinton have used have not made her appear completely honest, but millennials trust her to make college less of a burden over Trump.
In the New York Post, students weighed in on their views of the communication Hillary Clinton they witnessed. Roberta Bertha, a 20 year old from Pennsylvania, believed that Clinton’s answers sounded “canned, delivered at times dispassionately and at other times arrogantly.” (NY Post) While Clinton admitted that the race has been long, it seems that millennials are looking for her to become more energetic about helping them acquire jobs.
Clinton spoke in Pueblo, Colorado on October 12th. She mentioned that she had been working with Bernie Sanders to “make college affordable and to pay back student debt.” This was an obvious attempt to recruit the skeptical Sanders supporters who still find it hard to support her as they did Sanders. She also said she would make public college free for working families and debt free for everyone else.
In this speech, she riled up the audience, raising her arms and saying that college debt is a burden. She addressed many other demographics, but I think it is to her benefit that she has put a calculator on her websites for students to be able to finance their student debts based on their income. She also has been working with Sanders, which will only benefit her in receiving millennial votes. This issue Clinton now faces is being able to win over independent voters and those who do not want to vote. For her to do this, she needs to continue visiting colleges and potentially high schoolers who may be discouraged from considering college based on their financial situation. If she can inspire more hope than Trump from millennials in this way, she will win.
Millennials, for the first election, have become the largest voting demographic in the country. While Clinton has hinted at issues such as climate change to gain support from younger voters, she needs to do more. She needs to work around the fact that millennials are more selective about the news they receive, and are more aware of what she has done to not seem presidential.
The New York Times quotes Michelle Obama, saying that ““If you vote for someone other than Hillary, or if you don’t vote at all, then you are helping to elect Hillary’s opponent.” (NY Times) However, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are receiving increased support from younger voters, where normally their support has softened this far into the campaign.
While Sanders, a former independent and favorite of the younger generation, has warned voters of the negative implications of voting against Clinton, many voters believe that she is not genuine and is forcing relatability. Some Muslims would rather vote for a third-party, despite Trump’s racist rhetorical past. It was easy for younger voters and voters of many races to relate with Obama, but those who voted for him may not vote at all in this election.
A strategy Clinton is using to gain support from younger voters in swing states is by sending her daughter to colleges. She also did an interview with Zach Galifianakis to prove that she relates with the humor that the younger generation appreciates. The last line of the interview makes light of the email scam, and allows the audience to understand that the email controversy is something for them to move on from.