A worldwide movement among younger voters to create “millennial political parties” is taking root in the U.S., where the “youth” bloc is now the biggest and is ready to toss older politicians engaged in partisan warfare out on their ears.
New signs emerged in a Harvard University Institute of Politics poll that said millennial voters feel abandoned by warring Democrats and Republicans and are eager for the style of “community” politics last seen during President Bill Clinton’s two terms in the 1990s.
And while younger voters told Harvard that they overwhelmingly favor Democrats in the upcoming 2018 election, Democrats aren’t feeling a big millennial bump at the polls.
“You would think that generally Democrats would be doing better,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. But, he said, his poll found that just a third of young voters believe the parties cares about them.
“Therefore, I think that this generation is ripe, or it’s time, where they will turn this fear into fuel that could create a significant independent third party movement,” said Della Volpe.
In an interview with Secrets, he suggested that the future could be a “millennial party,” such as those sprouting in Indonesia and Australia, or a millennial movement like those fueling the popularity of younger presidential-level leaders in Sweden, Italy, Ireland, and Iceland.
.harvardiop Youth Poll Finds Pessimistic Views | News | The Harvard Crimson https://t.co/DKLcAoryX8— John Della Volpe (@dellavolpe) December 9, 2017
The poll found that millennials support a mix of liberal and conservative policies. They worry greatly about terrorism and North Korea, but also want gun control and climate change action.
Currently, they have no leader, though Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is playing de facto boss.
“I think it’s a potential movement in search of a leader,” said Della Volpe. “This leader could be a millennial, but doesn’t have to be a millennial. They just have to be aligned in a way in which millennials think about politics, which is an interesting combination of Democratic and Republican orthodoxy,” he added.
One model: A pinch of Teddy Roosevelt and a spoonful of Franklin D. Roosevelt. “When I go out on the road and talk to young people, they talk about being inspired by both Roosevelts, Teddy, Square Deal, and FDR, New Deal,” he said.
“All the elements are there” for a new party run by millennials, said Della Volpe. “Millennials are also not 25 anymore. At least half in their 30s and half in their late 20s, they are the largest voting block in the electorate right now,” he said. “I just don’t think that they are going to let older generations pile on debt and elect candidates who don’t reflect their values or the future.”
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com