Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who in the Democratic primaries saw the force that millennial voters could bring to elections as they turned out to support rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has a new strategy to attract younger voters.
Al Gore, former President Bill Clinton’s vice president and the unsuccessful Democratic presidential nominee in 2000, will be campaigning for Hillary Clinton later this month in hopes that the 68-year-old climate change advocate will do more to attract millennials than the 68-year-old Clinton.
Since 2000, Gore has confined his political activities to raising awareness for climate change, an effort for which he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
Gore endorsed HIllary Clinton but did not attend the Democratic National Convention.
“I am not able to attend this year’s Democratic convention, but I will be voting for Hillary Clinton,” Gore said then. “Given her qualifications and experience — and given the significant challenges facing our nation and the world, including, especially, the global climate crisis, I encourage everyone else to do the same.”
The Clinton campaign is turning to Gore as polls show that younger voters, many of whom supported Sanders, are not supporting Clinton. Environmental issues tend to be important to younger voters.
In some cases, surveys show that younger voters are turning away from both major party candidates to support Libertarian Gary Johnson.
Polls show the impact of younger voters. For example, the Los Angeles Times / Dornsife Daily Tracking Poll shows Trump with a narrow lead over Clinton, 43.4 percent to 41.4 percent among younger voters (ages 18-34). Clinton had been leading among that group all summer. Trump also leads all other age brackets in the Times/Dornsife poll.
Further, a recent Gallup poll, which looks at specific issues, noted that Clinton’s honesty is a sticking point among younger voters.
When voters younger than 35 were asked in that poll who they trusted to handle “government regulation of Wall Street and banks, Trump was trusted by 51 percent compared to 44 percent for Clinton.
Some commentators noted that Clinton’s low numbers with some millennials may be a vestige of the bruising Democratic primary.
” … a generation of young voters entered politics by voting against Hillary Clinton — and hearing repeatedly that she could not be trusted,” wrote David Weigel in The Washington Post.
Thus, adding a new person to speak on Clinton’s behalf may not be enough.
“If Hillary doesn’t win, it’s not the millennials’ or anyone else’s fault. It’s her fault because she didn’t earn the vote,” said Jacob Ribet, a former Sanders supporter.
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