In 2008 and 2012, the liberal Millennials proved they can turn the tides of an election. This year, Hillary Clinton is experiencing a unique problem for in her presidential bid, Millennials don't like her and they may plan on voting that way.
As of Sept. 26, Clinton slightly trails the ages 18-34 vote by about 3 points, 43 to 40 percent, but this has been far from consistent. USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times "Daybreak" polls finds that the lead among the youth voters has changed consistently over the last two months, with Trump recovering a lead from Clinton four times since June 10.
The reason it is so close is because as much as 17 percent of Millennials back neither candidate. In the meantime, Trump leads by 8 points among seniors, the LA Times poll reports. That could make the difference in November.
Clinton's turbulent record among youth voters is forcing her out of the strategy Obama used to win the election in 2012. Analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement show without the youth vote in Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania all four states would have been switched to red. Those 80 electoral voters would have made Romney president.
Clinton is relaying on a youth vote that she does not seem to have control over.
In the same analysis of the 2012 race, the elderly vote was won over by Romney in the key swing states by 12 points on average. Similarly, Trump has handedly maintained the elderly vote for nearly the entirety of the general election campaign.
This elderly momentum has picked up dramatically since early September when Clinton had a health emergency forcing her to leave a September 11th memorial service in New York - and then tried to cover it up. What was a two-point lead leapt to a 6-point lead and then a 10-point lead in days.
As the elderly population, often most aware of health needs, sees Clinton as unfit for presidency, it has benefited Baby Boomer generation gains high regard for Trump
In past elections it might have been enough to win Baby Boomers, but now that generation is roughly equal in population to Millennials. Here, again, Trump appears to have the edge in the LA Times poll. While about 6 percent of 65 plus voters are still undecided, 17 percent of millennials remain undecided. Yet interestingly, a clear 5-point majority of seniors still believe Clinton will win the election.
And millennials might not overwhelmingly vote for her, but they still believe she will win
According to Eric Trump, this is not a surprise at all. Eric Trump defending Millennials' attraction to his father on the premise that Trump's entrepreneurial spirit inspires youth voters who see Trump as a symbol of the American Dream and transparency in governance. While Clinton represents a political class disconnected with young Americans.
Ironically, Millennials who typically have gone for Democrats, with their underwhelming support of Clinton, could actually change that power dynamic in favor of Republicans this cycle.
Baby Boomers have long been known to have the power to alter the course of an election, and for now, if Millennials remain sour on Clinton that could be true again. With Trump's solid lead on the elderly vote and Clinton's unstable youth race, this election could be determined as simply as 2012 but in a very different direction.
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.