Millennial Voters Refuse To Be Left Out of this Election
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Another key thing that sets this age group apart is its social interaction, which plays a central role in the way it participates in politics. Millennials spend more time online than any other age group, and this colors their activism and the way that candidates and advocacy organizations engage them in discussion and debate. A full 75 percent of Millennials have created a profile on social networking sites, while only 50 percent of Generation Xers, 30 percent of Baby Boomers , and 6 percent of Silents have. This is why both advertisers and political campaigns are increasingly turning to social media to reach Millennials.
Higher education is becoming crucial for competing in today’s job market, and a growing number of Millennials understand the lifelong benefits of a college degree.More of them are earning college degrees, and nearly 80 percent still believe they can achieve the American Dream—but many of them know that it’s only possible through hard work and education.
While the cost of attaining a college degree has increased substantially over the past three decades, Millennials remain the most educated generation in the country’s history. Pew recently reported that more than half (54 percent) of Millennials—when they were ages 18 to 28—had attained at least some college education. Each previous generation had lower levels of higher education, with 49 percent of Gen Xers, 36 percent of Boomers, 24 percent of the Silent generation had at least some college education when they were those ages. Additionally, Millennials are also more likely to have completed high school and—similar to the generation before them—are continuing the trend of women outpacing men in graduating from or attending college.
But just as important as race, sexual orientation, education level, and social interaction are the beliefs and attitudes that we hold about the major issues our country faces and the best ways to address them. We details these positions held by many Millennails below.
Attitudes and Values: Social Issues
The majority of Millennial voters hold progressive views on social issues. From supporting hard-working undocumented immigrants to touting equality for young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, this generation embraces a brand of politics that is inclusive and supportive—one that unifies and believes America is better when people work together.
Of the 21 core values and beliefs that a majority of young Americans said they support, only four were classified as conservative, according to research conducted by the Center for American Progress. Some of the key findings about Millennials’ values and beliefs:
- 64 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they support the DREAM Act, which a bill to provide a pathway to legal status for eligible young people who were brought here as children and who complete high school and some college or military
- 84 percent agree that “We should do everything we can to make sure that people who want to use prescription birth control have affordable access to it and that cost is not an obstacle.”
- 62 percent of young people favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to get married.
With the media so often portraying religion and progressivism as opposites, it’s important to note that for Millennials, this couldn’t be further from the truth: While fewer young Americans view their faith as the single path to salvation than do older generations, Millennials are more open to multiple ways of interpreting their religion. Three-quarters of young people said there’s more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their faith, according to a Pew survey, compared with 67 percent of affiliated adults (ages 30 and older). For those who are young and religiously affiliated, for example, almost twice as many (65 percent) say that society should accept the gay* and transgender community, compared to those in the Baby Boomer generation and older (35 percent).