There is no doubt that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has the strong backing of “millennials.” He has energized them and brought many of them into the political arena. Sanders, the leader of the new revolution against the political establishment is unlikely to win the Democratic nomination.
So who gets his voters in the general election?
A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (click here for details), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, finds Hillary Clinton the clear front-runner over Donald Trump to win the White House in 2016. Among likely voters, Clinton has 61% of young voters and Trump 25%, with 14% of likely young voters unsure.
The IOP’s newest poll results – its 29th major release since 2000 – also shows that a majority of America’s 18- to 29-year-olds rejects both socialist and capitalist labels. 42% of young Americans support capitalism, and 33% say they support socialism.
“Millennials care deeply about their futures and in this election cycle they are laser-focused on issues like access to educational opportunity, women’s equality and the economy,” said Harvard Institute of Politics Director Maggie Williams. “This survey reflects their passion, their worries and most importantly, a growing awareness that their voices have power.”
“Young Americans are sending a strong message. They care deeply about the future, but are concerned that the current state of our institutions and our politics are not sufficient to meet our nation’s challenges,” said Harvard Institute of Politics Polling Director John Della Volpe. “We hope that in the remaining months of the campaign, candidates from both parties work to rebuild the trust that’s been eroded and inspire Millennials to not only vote, but engage in civic life.”
Perhaps surprisingly, socialism is even less popular than capitalism, with 59 percent rejecting the ideology embraced by Democratic presidential candidate Sanders, the favorite among millennials.
Just 51 percent of the 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed said they do not support capitalism.
Furthermore, Harvard student Jeff Metzger noted in Monday’s teleconference with reporters that distrust of capitalism breaks ideological bounds and shows an “alienation of the status quo.”
He said this is highlighted by the finding that even 49 percent of conservatives and 54 percent of Republicans polled do not support capitalism.
In a follow-up survey of 18- to 34-year-olds with a different sample, when the two economic systems went head-to-head, capitalism narrowly prevailed 38 percent to 33 percent.