Millennial Viewpoint: Trump Loses Young Voters by Avoiding Relevant Issues


Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (center), flanked by his daughter Ivanka (left), and his wife Melania Trump, speaks during a primary watch party at the Marriott on Feb. 20 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Love him or hate him; there is no way to ignore Donald Trump.

Controversy fanned by his non-politically correct rhetoric has given him non-stop news coverage since he entered the race in June of last year. He has come under fire from both the public and the media because of his stinging comments regarding immigrants, women, and religious groups to name a few.

When the race to the White House began, 17 candidates threw their hat into the ring for the title to run the country. As of press time, GOP Millennials have three options to choose from, either Trump, Ted Cruz or John Kasich.

In contrast to the others, Trump is far from a traditional candidate. He does not have a history in politics like his opponents. Furthermore, his supporters say in addition to appreciating his brutal honesty, they are sick of experienced politicians and prefer to support a Washington outsider.

Although Trump does not have the visible youth support Sanders enjoys, he earned enough Millennial votes to win most primaries and caucuses, regardless of his demeanor.

“The New York billionaire had made harsh, often intolerant, rhetoric a staple of his campaign, but thus far, it hasn’t cost him with young Republican voters,” Kyle Cheney, a writer for Politico, said.

Although Cheney notes that Trump has garnered some Millennial support, there is a strong possibility he would receive more if he had active stances on more issues that directly affect us. Trump’s website only presents his perspective on six issues, none of which include college debt, affordable tuition, or environmental concerns.

A survey conducted by three Republican pollsters showed that 54 percent of Republicans believe the climate is changing and that mankind plays some role in the change.

While climate change is an issue that resonates more with millennial voters, Trump remains resistant to acknowledging its existence. In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, he claimed President Obama is trying “to solve a problem that I don’t think in any major fashion exists. I am not a believer unless somebody can prove something to me.”

Likewise, the cost of college tuition and growing debt is also a significant concern. Other candidates have proposed plans ranging from free, or partially free, higher education to lowering interest on loans. During a town hall meeting in Wisconsin, Trump discussed possibly lowering the interest rate on student loans but has no plans to address tuition cost like some of the other candidates.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this as a politician … I’d love to say free education, but again, if somebody gets free education, all of the people paying, their rates are going to go up,”  Trump said.

Millennials are a group estimated to be about 75 million strong that helped determine the last two presidential elections. While GOP Millennials do not overwhelmingly support Trump, a large number of other GOP voters do. And although most of us will be out of college before any real change to the cost of higher education takes effect, we will be living on this earth saddled with student loans for a very long time to come.