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Spin Control

Millennials: The latest hot thing?

The latest hot thing in politics seems to be Millennials.

Last week the Youth Engagement Fund and Project New America released a poll that said voters aged 18 to 29 will determine the fall elections. It delves deeply into the political psyche of Generation M and suggests they are a progressive Democrat’s dream.

Strong majorities say women and men should be paid equally, same-sex marriage should be legal, women should make the decision on abortion, small amounts of marijuana should be legal, utilities should produce more energy from renewable sources and taxes should be raised on people making more than $250,000 a year. So except for that last one, they kind of reflect the way Washington votes on initiatives. . . 

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. . . And they’d be more likely to vote Democrat than Republican in the upcoming congressional elections, if they vote. But that’s a big if. About 70 percent in that survey said they were registered to vote but only 28 percent said they will definitely vote this fall.

A week earlier, the Harvard Institute of Politics released its own poll of Millennials, in which only about 23 percent said they would definitely vote. Those definite voters were better news for Republicans than Democrats: more said they voted for Mitt Romney than Barack Obama in 2012; more said they were conservative than liberal.

As with all hot things in politics, they will probably be studied, sliced and diced for their politics and proclivities until something new comes along.

But given their voting proclivities, the biggest political question on Millennials no one seems to ask is: Are they worth the effort?

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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