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Our Power as Millennials in the 2012 Election

Posted at: February 3, 2012 4:10 PM
by Katie Bishop

Along with others ranging from ages 16 to 30, I am a part of the so-called millennial generation. As the 2012 presidential election approaches, it will be yet another year that millennials play a vital role in who is elected into office. Let’s take a look back at the 2008 presidential campaign and the role millennials played in electing Barack Obama into office.

The 2008 presidential election was the first time that millennials made up a large portion of voters, and about one third of this group supported Barack Obama, according to a Huffington Post article. In fact, more young people voted in the 2008 presidential election than any other election in the past.

Obama seemed to know that millennials would make up a large portion of the votes, and he not only disseminated a message that struck well with them, but also utilized media channels that millennials constantly surrounded themselves with. This was an extremely smart public relations strategy that was essential to his campaign.

Millennials, like myself, generally have more moderate views. Through research completed by Platform Magazine, millennials are shown more likely to support issues such as gay marriage, race and gender equality, and tolerance of religious diversity. On economic issues, millennials prefer a stronger government that takes care of those in need. This is why Obama seemed as if he was the best candidate to most of the millennials in 2008.

Millennials will also have a lot of control over who is elected into office in the 2012 presidential election. It is our job as millennials to take part in electing the best candidate.

According to an article in Time, it seems as if the millennials now doubt Obama’s re-election, but instead of turning their votes to a Republican candidate, they would prefer to become uninvolved with the presidential election as a whole. This is ridiculous considering the power millennials could have in the 2012 presidential election. As legal voters, and millennials, we should be aware of what policies would better our future as Americans and take part in voting come 2012.

The first thing that comes to my mind when listening to the 2012 presidential candidates is how focused they are on the issues that will affect me the most: the economy and if I will have a job when I graduate. Closing in on this next election, millennial voters should be most interested in job opportunities, education reform and certain entitlements and how they will affect our taxes in the future.

Mitt Romney’s campaign has been extremely focused on jobs and the economy without bringing too much attention to religious or social issues. This is a smart move by Romney, knowing how large of an effect millennials could have in this next election.

With the extensive technology that millennials use in their day-to-day lives, there is no reason why we should not be aware and deeply involved with this upcoming presidential election. Millennials should be all ears, listening and learning about every candidate in this next election, because it is ultimately our future that is on the line.

We should have a true understanding of each candidate’s stance on all policies, but most importantly the policies that will have a biggest effect on our future. Having such a great opportunity in determining who is elected into office come 2012, it is up to us, the current high school graduates, college students and recent college graduates, to vote for the candidate that can better our future as American citizens.


  1. Post comment

    Thoughtful piece! I am sure many millennials today are wishing for better and more options that the antiquated party system that exists today!


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