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November 6, 2014 / needhamgrassroots

Why millennials didn’t show up last night

youth voteVia Salon – The results are in: despite fierce, crucial campaigns across the country, millennials voted just as little this year as they have in past midterms.

Leading up to Election Day, party leaders revived an age-old tradition this year by traveling to college campuses and urging young people to vote. Unfortunately, when they get there, they rarely had anything inspiring to say about issues that matter most to young people in the audience. Their problem wasn’t finding soaring rhetoric. Instead, the problem is that almost none of them articulated bold ideas on some of the most important issues to millennials today.

Despite evidence that millennials could mobilize to become the most influential electoral demographic in the country, most party leaders and their candidates have failed to articulate any bold plans on issues that are increasingly defining youth interests. For instance, while an overwhelming number of  millennials support policies that would make college more affordable, decriminalize marijuana and eliminate low-paying internships that exploit young, indebted college graduates, candidates from both parties this cycle declined to take the type of strong positions that could mobilize large swaths of these voters.

On the one hand, it’s not surprising when candidates refuse to take political risks, even when the upside is arguably tremendous. But when it comes to the youth vote, their reticence is much more shocking, given that bold appeals to millennial voters are starting to become an essential ingredient to achieving political stardom. The bipartisan examples of success are more obvious than you would think. In recent months, Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul have shot though the political stratosphere largely by embracing bold action on issues that millennials are most passionate about.

Read more via A night of blown opportunity: Why millennials didn’t show up last night – Salon.com.

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