Last updated: August 23, 2019
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The 2016 Presidential election was probably one of the most infamous elections in U.S. history, mainly because of who won and the voter outcome.  But who really had an impact on the election and its outcome?  Did the millennials do everything capable to vote and change America? According to an article posted by The Atlantic on February 29, 2016, the millennials are also known as Generation Y.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, millennials are described as “a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.” So millennials are people born between the early 1980s and 1990s. So all millennials are at legal voting age, but did they all vote?  An article posted online by USNews on September 6, 2016, stated that young voter turn out has been quite difficult to count on, but when Sen. Bernie Sanders from Vermont came into the picture, the young voter turn out propelled his primary campaign. They liked his campaign because he was saying and proposing things that they deemed important to their lives, like free college education.  So millennials will come out and vote if they hear something they like and that will directly impact their life for the better.  An article posted on, they did a study showing the youth (18-29 year olds) voter turnout in the last 5 elections; the 2000 election with 41%, the 2004 election with 48%, the 2008 election with 52%, the 2012 election with 49%, and the 2016 election with 50%. 
So which way did the millennials vote? According to an article posted on posted on November 21, 2017, Hillary Clinton won the youth vote with 55%, while Donald Trump only mustering up 37% of the millennial votes. So with that, even though Hillary Clinton had the plurality of the youth votes, they all were divided on all kinds of key issues. Key issues that affect the way millennials, according to The Atlantic, are social issues, economic issues, gay rights, and immigration reform. The same article compared the millennial vote with the 2012 election with Obama getting the millennial with 60% and Romney with 37%, so millennials more often then not lean more democratic than they do republican. Another article posted by Bloomberg on November 9, 2016 states that the history books will not count the millennials among the group that put current president Donald Trump into the oval office, due to the fact that the majority went for Hillary Clinton.  When the writers at Bloomberg looked at the statistics, they concluded that if only had millennials had voted, Hillary Clinton would have won the election.
There are three political affiliations; Democrat, Republican, and Independent.  According to research done by the Pew Research Center, it showed that 41% of millennials identify as independents, 34% as democrats, and 22% as republicans. An article done by The Atlantic on February 29, 2016 Millennials tend to sway to the independent party because of their ability to multi-task, the ability to stay connected because of social media and tech skills, and of the underlaying want to make a greater difference in society.  The millennial vote is such a big impact on the election because the millennial voting age population makes up the same proportion of the Baby Boomer voters.  In the same article from The Atlantic from February 2016; in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, more than 80%  of voters that were under the age of 30 voted for Bernie Sanders. The article also stated that the millennial generation is probably the most educated generation in American history.
The real question that was on everyones mind when the election was drawing closer and closer was that, will the millennials do their civil duty and vote?  An article posted by on November 7, 2016, stated that 17% of young men and 13% of young women said that they would not be voting for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. With the millennials being such a large amount of the voting electorate population, them not voting can and will impact the way the election turns out. The same article states that when Ohio released an early voting data on October 31st, it only shows that there was only a 3% drop in millennial turnout at the polls.  The millennial vote is so crucial to campaigns, that according to, when the Sanders campaign was over, the Clinton campaign hired the Sanders staffers to launch a “millennial engagement program.” The democrats had also begun to exploring the issues such as college debt and the black lives matter campaign to be able to obtain the attention of the millennial voters, according to  
Something that almost all millennials are dealing with is student loans, so if they hear a candidate saying something that they like concerning student loans then they are drawn to that candidate. Fox Business says that Americans are saddled with more than $1.2 trillion in student loan debt; the article also states that according to Student Loan Hero, that the average 2016 college graduate owes more than $37,000 in student loan debts.  Fox Business interviewed Nate Matherson, the CEO/Co-Founder of LendEDU, but he graduated from the University of Delaware in 2016 with $57,000 of loan debt; the following statement is from his interview with Fox Business, “Both Trump and Clinton have interesting, and very different approaches to solving the student loan crisis, I hope that both sides can agree that we need to invest in personal finance education at the high school level.” Matherson went on to say, “We shouldn’t be sending college freshman into student debt when they haven’t learned basic personal finance skills.”  So any voter who has student loan debt is looking for a president who will find a way to help them with their debt, and if there isn’t a candidate that is offering some kind of solution, then they are less likely to go vote.  
An article done by the DU Newsroom on July 11, 2016 discussed all the relevant importance that the millennial voters have in an election.  Nancy Wadsworth, a political science professor, she said, ” I have found students to be utterly alarmed by Trump and angry that they are inheriting a situation like this.” She continued to say “I think that millennial students are savvy to the dangers that someone like Trump represents to the political process.”  So according to Professor Wadsworth, she thinks that millennial students viewed Hillary Clinton as the “more capable candidate” because she was someone that they already knew as the secretary of state; she also goes on to claim that the majority of the support for Trump came from the baby boomers and Generation X.  
Anyone is aware to the fact that millennials are very intact and frequently use social media. So in the 2016 election, social media was a huge campaign platform for candidates to reach out to the public, but this trend actually started in 2008 with President Obama had gained a massive influence just on social media; which led him to be known as the “First Social Media President.”  So all the candidates in the 2016 election had a team of strategist just for their social media platforms to help them get their word out. Most millennials most likely already get their news off of social media platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat, so they are more targeted to get the attention of voters on those platforms.  Hillary Clinton tweeted in December of 2015 that “This year, the Republicans reminded us that the Dark Side is alive and well.”  So she was using the current popular pop culture at the time to grab the attention of millennial voters to think that she was with the times so they would listen to her campaign and hopefully later vote for her, while Donald Trump took the pathway of taking intentional attacks on politicians and entertainers.
So finally, when you take all these factors and numbers into account, the millennials really have more of an impact than everyone thinks they do. Their votes are probably the some of the most important votes that a candidate can ask for cause they are the ones who are searching and wanting to make the most change in society.