Democrat, Republican, or independent, millennials aren't likely to be flocking to the voting booth come November. A new national poll from Harvard's Institute of Politics (IOP) finds less than a quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds say they will be "definitely" be voting this fall. Yet young conservatives are more likely to be among midterm voters than young liberals.
Thirty-two percent of self-identified conservatives said they would definitely vote in the November 2014 elections, compared to only 22 percent of self-identified liberals. Of millennials who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012, 44 percent say they'll vote this fall, compared to 35 percent of those who voted for President Barack Obama in 2012.
This isn't too surprising. In general, midterm elections tend to draw out more base voters for the party not in power, and many millennials full of Hope® in 2008 or 2012 have spent the past several years becoming disillusioned with Democrat power.
In fact, Gen Y trust in politicians and government institutions is at a five-year low, according to the IOP poll. Trust in Obama has dropped to 32 percent, and trust in the Supreme Court is at 36 percent. Trust was highest for the U.S. military, at 47 percent. Additionally, 62 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, "elected officials seem to be motivated by selfish reasons," and nearly a third agreed that "political involvement rarely has any tangible results."
"To inspire the next generation to public service—and to improve our communities—our elected officials need to move past the bitter partisanship and work together to ensure progress and restore trust in government," said IOP Director Trey Grayson.
It's a lovely sentiment, but he might as well have said our elected officials need to start pooping unicorns in top hats. "Moving past bitter partisanship" doesn't seem like something either Republicans or Democrats are terribly interested in. When you're out of touch, out of ideas, and have no consistent political philosophy, bitter partisanship is really your best bet.