Op-Ed: The neglect of younger voters is a lost opportunity for political parties
This month has been a busy one in the democratic presidential election campaigning. The first debate, featuring the two candidates closest to the voters’ minds, is over in two weeks. The second is to be held on Thursday, Oct. 16. It’s been an unprecedented year for political journalism, with so many extraordinary events. And it’s only January.
I had the pleasure of covering this election through the first debate in South Carolina. Then, as I covered the first round of balloting, I was asked to write an article, “The presidential election is a race for the ages.” My story was published on Dec. 4, 2016.
But the news has only just begun for our country. On Dec. 16, voters of every faith will elect a president for the ages.
We have to change the way young voters are treated by our political parties.
There are just five days left until the first round of presidential candidates reach the finish line. The Democratic ticket includes only two candidates who have a positive vision for America, while the Republican ticket includes three candidates with different views and visions for America.
Each party has its own political leaders with the best interests of younger voters at heart. Donald Trump may not have made it to the second round of debates, but he is the closest thing any of the candidates in the race have to a millennial, and in a campaign when his only opponent is his own reputation, Trump holds an enormous amount of power.
But the party leaders of the GOP do not put the needs of young voters at the top of their priorities. For example, last week, as the first major debate began, the Republican National Committee did not spend money on advertising with the stated purpose of reaching millennials. Instead, they went to the opposite extreme. They bought a billboard with the words “NOPE!” in the background with the message, “It’s time to #LoveWhatIs.”
The DNC will give out 1.2 million dollars in ads to promote diversity, and they will spend $5,000 on ads specifically targeting younger voters.
But the GOP leadership does not have that level of support.