This past election was a watershed moment for the American electorate: It was the first presidential election in which Generation Y—a.k.a.: Millennials—made up the same proportion of the U.S. voting-age population as the Baby BoomersSource: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Voting and Registration. Table 1-A. Available at
In fact, as of April 2016, an estimated 69.2 million Millennials (adults ages 18-35 in 2016) were voting-age U.S. citizens – a number almost equal to the 69.7 million Baby Boomers (ages 52-70) in the nation’s electorate, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
While the growth in the number of Millennials who are eligible to vote underscores the potential electoral clout of today’s young adults, Millennials remain far from the largest generational bloc of actual voters. And if there’s one thing people are learning about this young generation, it’s that they are liberal. According to this map released by Survey Monkey, had the election results been up to millennials, then Hillary would have, um, trumped Donald Trump. Instead, you know how this story plays out.
Staying in Trend.
The 2016 Millennial Impact Report Post-Election Survey Infographic displays millennial voter findings following the 2016 Presidential election. The infographic provides insight into who millennials voted for, why they chose a specific candidate and why they chose to not vote, among other topics. The survey was conducted over the course of three days immediately following the election.
Research from the Millennial Impact also bubbled up some interesting voting trends among Millennials and Gen Z.
Trend 1: While the number of supporters of Hillary Clinton increased from June to August, so did the number of Millennials choosing neither major party candidate or not to vote at all.
Trend 2: Education and health care remained the first- and second-highest social issues of interest for Millennials, but employment/wages edged out the economy as the third-highest issue of interest.
Trend 3: Millennials still consider themselves activists, but without showing a strong affinity for direct action in support of or opposition to an issue.
Trend 4: Slightly fewer Millennials believe people like them can help make the United States a better place to live, with the biggest drop seen among females.
Trend 5: Millennials continue to have some level of trust in government to do what is right, though the majority don’t rate that trust as high.
Trend 6: In the last month, males continued at about the same rate—around half—to participate in an activity related to a social issue about which they cared.
Trend 7: Facebook is still the most popular social media platform on which Millennials post about issues they care for, and the majority of Millennials had posted about an issue on social media in the past week.
What’s your brand got to do with it?
And while you may not be looking to host the next big election, there’s opportunities for brands, like yours, to gain powerful insight from this info, and build effective marketing campaigns geared towards this demographic.
Understanding that voters between the ages of 18-24 are passionate about social causes. Just take a look at what we were able to do for DSW! By partnering your brand with a national or local nonprofit, your brand positions itself as one that cares about more than just generating sales. In addition to building brand equity, your student brand ambassadors are getting in their real-world experience for the resumes and getting outside their campus life routines to learn about what they want post-academia (while also making money!).
In addition to developing a student’s philanthropic interests, create tasks that encourage your student ambassadors to get outside their comfort zones and explore diversity, in all aspects (e.g. social, economical, etc). This can help with a student’s ability to connect with others and help them nail those in-class group projects. People come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, orientations, and ethnicities. Learning how to work together, early on, will help your student ambassador in their careers after college.
Your brand needs to stay current and up-to-date with shifts in population. While Millennials and Gen Z can be a tricky demographic to figure out, paying close attention to their interests when it comes to social, economical, and political issues can provide some valuable insight. At Go Commando, we offer tools and survey assistance to help you stay knowledgeable about where college students are when it comes to their values and interests.
Need some help getting started? Connect with us today and we’ll give you a complimentary 30-minute strategy to assist you in developing your student rep marketing campaign. To learn more about how we’ve helped brands, like you, boost their awareness, check our Case Studies, or connect with us directly!