A new tide is turning in America’s political climate, and a recent AP poll reveals that the young people — apparently “exasperated” with the older leaders in Congress — are ready to make some waves with their vote in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.
According to a poll by the Associated Press-NORC and MTV, 79% of Americans between the ages 15-34 think that younger leaders would do a better job running the country as opposed to our current Congress, whose average House member and Senate age is 58 and 62, respectively.
The political attitudes of young Americans today lack teen spirit:
- 57% are doubtful that people of differing political views can come together and resolve their differences;
- 1 in 5 have hope that political polarization will heal over the next five years;
- 1 in 10 have felt positive or excited about the state of the country in the past month; and
- 7 in 10 say American politics are dysfunctional.
When asked about what they would like to see in the future of American politics, young people express their interest in candidates who care about issues that affect them and their generation. These issues include health care, immigration, the economy, and equal rights.
And who do they want to see in office? They're less excited about career politicians, celebrities, and older, white candidates. Their excitement instead lies in younger, nonwhite, and/or female candidates, but especially in those who share their political views.
With 63% of young people believing that voting in the 2018 midterm election will allow them to effect real change in the government, it's safe to say November may produce some surprising results.
Perhaps the volatile and uncertain nature of American politics has its upsides; rather than succumbing to political disenchantment, young people seem eager to dive head-first into changing America for the better.