US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in a bid to woo millennial voters who played a vital role in Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign during primaries, wrote an ode to praise them in an op-ed for Teen Vogue published on Tuesday.
“A smart former president – who happens to be my husband – once said there is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America,” the former state of secretary wrote, Xinhua news agency reported.
“I couldn’t agree more. And your generation embodies everything that is most right with America,” she said, urging the young generation to rally around her in the general election.
“We have to come together to build an America that reflects the values your generation embodies – diversity, openness, innovation – and stop those who want to take us in a very different direction, ” she said, in a bid to consolidate the support of the millennials who fueled Sanders’ challenge during the primaries.
A new USA TODAY/Rock the Vote Poll issued on Sunday found Clinton now leads Trump 56 per cent to 20 per cent among those under 35, though she has failed so far to arouse enthusiasm among millennials as Sanders has done.
A much more progressive Sanders may have netted an estimated 1.2 million more votes than Clinton among voters aged between 18 and 29 during the 2016 primary and caucus contests.
Trump, younger than Sanders but elder than Clinton, also enjoys a distinct advantage among millennials since his long-time celebrity status and obsessive social media presence make him a unique cultural phenomenon for younger Americans who have grown up knowing him more as host of his own reality TV show.
A Saturday Night Live parody viral video with Trump “dad dancing” to a song by the rapper Drake has garnered more than 7 million views on YouTube, according to a report published by The Hill news daily.
In comparison, the Clinton campaign’s attempts during the primaries to connect with younger people were frequently met with online mockery.
However, “she doesn’t need to be cool. She just needs to be who she is,” said Sarah Audelo, the youth vote director with the Clinton campaign. “That’s what young people are interested in. Young people want authenticity.”
Young voters came out in record numbers to send Barack Obama into the White House in 2008 and then assisted with his reelection four years later.
The 2016 general election is expected to draw in millions more young people who didn’t bother to participate in their primaries and caucuses, let alone register to vote.
There are estimated 75.4 million millennials, roughly defined as someone born between 1980 and 2000, in the US, a voting group larger in size than 74.9 million Baby Boomers who were born after the World War Two.