By SOPHIA A. MCCLENNEN
Polls show that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have trouble appealing to young voters. In a recent study released by Harvard, millennial voters, aged 18-29, overwhelmingly favored Bernie Sanders. Sanders pulled a net favorable rating of 54 percent, Clinton only had 37 percent, and Trump pulled a miserable 17 percent of the same age group.
While the Harvard study shows that Sanders supporters will likely support Clinton if they have no other choice against Trump, the study also indicates that the Sanders campaign has made a lasting impression on young voters that will remain whether or not he wins the nomination. Polling director John Della Volpe explained that: “He’s not moving a party to the left. He’s moving a generation to the left. Whether or not he’s winning or losing, it’s really that he’s impacting the way in which a generation — the largest generation in the history of America — thinks about politics.”
Della Volpe’s work at the John F. Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics shows that over the course of the Sanders campaign young voters increasingly favored the campaign’s core issues. Tracking data over time, Della Volpe noted that there was a demonstrable shift towards progressive politics in the last year. In fact Max Ehrenfreund of The Washington Post suggests that regardless of what happens in the campaign “Sanders might have already won a contest that will prove crucially important in America’s political future.”
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