Surprising Third Party Candidate Surges With Young People Just Before Election
October 19, 2016 | Carey Wedler
(ANTIMEDIA) It’s no secret that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two of the most disliked candidates in U.S. presidential history. But a new poll conducted by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and Odyssey, a social media publishing platform, shows just how unpopular these two candidates are this election — especially among the millennial generation.
According to the non-partisan survey of 1,247 voters aged 18-35, “seventy-seven percent of registered millennial voters say they would not describe Donald Trump as honest, while 64% would not describe Clinton as such,” according to a summary by Odyssey.
Given other hypothetical options, the younger generation’s disdain for the two main candidates became more apparent:
“The poll asked millennials to choose their preference between Clinton as president, Trump as president, a random lottery to choose the president from all U.S. citizens, Barack Obama appointing himself to a life term as president or a giant meteor striking Earth and extinguishing all human life.”
These were the results:
“Over a Clinton or Trump presidency, 39 percent of those surveyed said they preferred Obama serve a life term; 26 percent prefer a random lottery to choose the next president and 23 percent (nearly 1 in 4) prefer a giant meteor strike.”
Though an illegal third term for Obama and a randomly chosen American citizen beat out the meteor, the poll demonstrates nearly a quarter of millennials have developed a sardonic sense of humor toward the impending election.
Professor Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMss Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, highlighted the implications of the poll.
“We do not take our respondents at their word that they are earnestly interested in seeing the world end,” he said, “but we do take their willingness to rank two constitutional crises and a giant meteor ahead of these two candidates with startling frequency as a sign of displeasure and disaffection with the candidates and the 2016 election.”
Of course, this is hardly news.
More surprising, perhaps, is millennials’ willingness to accept the options they’re given. According to the poll, though millennials view Hillary Clinton as dishonest, they still prefer her to Donald Trump.
As UMass-Lowell’s press release discussing the poll explained, “[b]y a 3-to-1 margin, millennials who are likely voters prefer Democrat Hillary Clinton to Republican Donald Trump in a head-to-head race for president, 66 percent to 22 percent with 12 percent undecided.”
They view her as substantially more level-headed, experienced, and intelligent than Donald Trump, and give her a favorability ranking of 56% — still less than President Obama (71%) and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (73%). Trump received a 25% favorability rating.
While, on one hand, it’s refreshing to know the millennial generation rejects the violent, often demagogic language and sentiments of Donald Trump, it is disturbing to learn they will apparently accept what they view as a “lesser evil” option in accordance with their political ideologies. As the researchers note, “these results could indicate that, regardless of who the candidates are, millennial voters’ preferences are influenced by party identification.” Indeed, though millennials are less loyal to party politics than older generations, a majority of them still lean Democratic.
As the millennial author of this article, I take the poll as a sign that much of my generation has either failed to evolve past the two-party, lesser evil fallacy, or they are unaware of the extent of Clinton’s reckless, irresponsible “experience” as a leader and her continued role in violent misdeeds around the globe. I suspect it’s actually both. To many countries in the Middle East — including Iraq, Libya, and Syria — Hillary’s policies literally are comparable to the destructive forces of a giant meteor.
Regardless, I stand in sarcastic, frustrated solidarity with other young voters who understand a piece of space rock rocketing toward Earth might cause less pain and suffering than a Clinton or Trump presidency.
Nevertheless, in an inkling of good news, the poll also found marijuana is more favorable than either Clinton or Trump, with 58% surveyed saying they support legalization. Marijuana/Meteor 2016!
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