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Eye On Candidates
June 20, 2016

Clinton sets eyes on ‘millennials’

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is readying her campaign for November, and it appears one focus will be on making up ground with 'millennials,' a crucial voting block for her chief rival for her party's nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Politico reports this morning on her game plan:

Inside Clinton's plan to win over millennials

For Clinton, moving ahead of the Democratic National Convention to start targeting young voters is a vital play to unify a part of the party base that came out in record numbers to propel Barack Obama into the White House in 2008 and then assisted with his reelection four years later.

Millennials, roughly defined as someone born between the early 1980s and the closing days of the Bill Clinton presidency in 2000, are now larger in size (75.4 million, according to a Pew Research Center report from April) than the Baby Boomers (74.9 million). But they have an unproven track record when it comes to actually voting....

While Sanders may have netted an estimated 1.2 million more votes than Clinton among 18- to 29-year olds during the 2016 primary and caucus contests, the general election will draw in millions more young people who didn’t bother to participate in their primaries and caucuses, let alone register to vote. That means their choices will essentially boil down to a pick among Clinton, Trump or a third party candidate. Or they could decide not to turn out at all....

The Clinton youth vote gameplan includes targeting different subgroups of the millennial generation on their own turf. High school students who will be 18 by Election Day can expect to get their own special pitch. Different messages will be directed at college students, young professionals just getting started in their careers and older millennials who have started families. Clinton’s youth-vote staffers are planning to take a listening tour of college campuses and other places where millennials work and congregate.

Millennials are just one of several key voting blocks Clinton will fight for in 2016, and given the group's generally low turnout in past elections compared to other groups, it's unlikely her campaign will put too much emphasis on young voters over other, more reliable voters. But presidential campaigns tend to win by assembling large coalitions that together can deliver an electoral majority, and Clinton seems to be positioning herself to win this group.