A new Harvard poll found waning enthusiasm among so-called “Millennials” in the midterm elections. Less than 27 percent surveyed say they will definitely vote Nov. 2 — a nine-point drop from 11 months ago.
Lilly Nottingham, a Harvard sophomore who helped conduct the poll for the Institute of Politics, said political enthusiasm for 18- to 29-year-olds is down because the midterm elections don’t feature a charismatic character, like President Obama.
“That’s what made it so exciting in 2008,” she said.
But a belief that change hasn’t come fast enough, combined with the fact that the unemployment rate among youngsters is twice as high as adults in many states, has disengaged many Millennials from politics.
The pollsters were shocked by the drastic dip, considering the 2008 election saw historic levels of participation among youth.
“To see less participation and less interest as the election draws closer, as issues are more magnified, that was the thing that was most surprising to me,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling for the Institute of Politics.
Eric Lu, a Harvard junior who worked on the survey, said they are reaching out to student groups to make them aware of their findings. “Because, for many of us in college, this is the second-biggest election of our lives,” he said.
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