What are the main issues impacting millennial voters this political season? NBC10 reporters Vince Lattanzio and David Chang went on a college tour to find out.
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In the weeks leading up to the election, the “Battleground Brothers” visited different college campuses in Pennsylvania and spoke with students about the issues they’re concerned about amid the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
They first visited the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC to take a look at the political affiliations and trends of millennial voters. According to Pew Research, 41 percent of millennials identify as Independent, 34 percent identify as Democrat and 25 percent identify as Republican. Yet when asked which party they lean toward in their political affiliations, 54 percent of millennials either identified as Democrat or leaned towards Democrat. That "Democratic lean" is larger (more than 10 percent) than any other generational group in recent history.
One of the biggest issues that millennials are concerned about during this election is the economy. Millennials grew up during the Great Recession and they're facing challenges when it comes to paying for school, buying a home and finding well-paying jobs, according to Pew Research Center Senior researcher Alec Tyson.
Tyson also provided data on how millennials viewed the concept of the American dream and the country's current economic system in comparison to other generations. According to Pew Research, the majority of millennials believe that most people can get ahead if they're willing to work hard. At the same time however, they also feel that the U.S. economic system unfairly favors powerful interests. Despite this, millennials are still optimistic that their personal financial situation will improve over the next year.
The first stop of the college campus tour was Penn State University where Donald Trump supporters are feuding with their fellow Republican counterparts and the love for Hillary Clinton is lackluster among Democrats. Those feelings are compounded by concerns over the nation’s economy as young people prepare to enter the workforce. You can watch their Penn State trip in the video below.
The second stop of the college campus tour was Temple University where Vince and David spoke to students about the fight for social equality, another huge concern for millennials during this election season. Yet while the movement is loud at Temple University, not every student believes they can participate or supports the movement. You can watch their Temple University trip in the video embedded below.
The third stop of the college campus tour was Widener University where Vince and David spoke to students about Climate Change and the effects inaction will have on their future. You can watch their Widener University trip in the video embedded below.
The final stop was Kutztown University where Vince and David spoke to students about gun control, an issue that's not as polarizing among millennial voters as you might expect. You can watch their Kutztown University trip in the video embedded below.