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THE
MILLENNIAL
PROJECT
WHAT WE DID
Denver, CO
Sept 24th
Orlando, FL
Sept 23rd
Columbus, OH
Sept 21st
 10 Republican-leaning Millennial voters
 10 Democratic-leaning Millennial voters
On behalf of HLN’s Millennial Project, Meeting Street Research conducted a series of
focus groups among Millennial voters in the swing states of Ohio, Florida, and
Colorado. All participants were between the ages of 18 and 34, likely voters with high
interest in the 2016 Presidential election.
In each location, we
conducted groups of:
QUICK FACTS
19%  40%
Millennials made up 19%
of the electorate in 2012.
By 2020, this number will
grow to 40%.
60%
DEM
37%
GOP ?
ABOUT THE
STATE OF THE UNION
HOW MILLENNIALS FEEL
“Everyone takes a super extreme
viewpoint and there’s no way that
anyone can agree on anything.” (CO
Democrat)
“More and more
divided. Maybe it’s just
my increased awareness,
but it seems like since I’ve
been an adult there’s
been less agreement in
Congress.”
(CO Republican)
…THIS COUNTRY AS MORE DIVIDED THAN UNITED
As one Millennial notes, “we are not a very united United States.” These younger
voters see a nation split along partisan and ideological lines, along religious and non-
religious lines, along gender as well as ethnicity and racial lines, and along
socioeconomic lines.
“When you are divided further on the extreme
conservative and liberal sides, you are taking
focus away from the big things like how to get
the economy back on track.” (OH Republican)
THE ISSUES IMPORTANT
TO THEM
HOW MILLENNIALS FEEL
…THERE IS AGREEMENT ON THE KEY ISSUES.
Millennials point to three key issues for why they struggle to
get their financial footing:
Lack of
good-paying
jobs
Soaring
education
costs
(and debt)
Rising
health care
costs
+ +
1 2 3
THE ECONOMY & JOBS
“When you make more than the average person and you’re
struggling, it’s hard to imagine how other people are getting by.”
 The Republican-leaning Millennials worry…
 The Democratic-leaning Millennials worry…
But, the big worry across both
sets of Millennials here is the
lack of good-paying jobs where
wages rise at the same rate as
education and health care costs.
!
EDUCATION COSTS
These Millennials have a hard time believing the American Dream
is achievable today. Instead, Millennials are struggling to get
through college – either bringing on massive amounts of debt or
dropping out of school because they can’t afford it – only to find a
job market lacking jobs that match their skills and training.
Millennials feel they’re
stuck paying back loans
on a degree they can’t
use with a paycheck
that’s too small.
HEALTH CARE COSTS
The health insurance coverage
requirement under the Affordable
Care Act is adding to the financial
burden Millennials are having to
shoulder today. Millennials say
they are forced to pay for coverage
– regardless of whether they use it
or can afford it – that they don’t see
the value in having.
“I’m shelling out
thousands for
coverage I don’t
use. And when I
do, I still have to
pay to use the
coverage.”
OTHER KEY ISSUES
 Planned Parenthood is a part of the discussion
(on both sides).
 So are race relations and policing.
 Gun violence and gun laws are, too.
 National security concerns, less so, but these groups were
conducted before the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.
 Immigration only registers a little bit
(among Republican-leaning voters in Colorado).
POLITICAL PARTY
BRANDING
HOW MILLENNIALS FEEL
ACCORDING TO PEW…
Party Identification by Generation with and without Leaners:
ACCORDING TO PEW…
Party Identification by Race and Generation:
WHY THEY LEAN REPUBLICAN
Republican-leaning Millennials
believe less government
intervention and more private
sector autonomy are the keys to
turning things around. Some
Republican-leaning young voters
believe social issues (abortion,
same-sex marriage) are the defining
values, but for most it’s primarily
economic and fiscal conservatism
that draws them to lean Republican.
Democratic-leaning Millennials
believe the government should be
taking a more activist role in
providing an economic “safety net”
for the lower and middle class
Americans and narrowing the income
gap. They also see the Democratic
Party as more diverse and more
focused on protecting women’s
reproductive rights, fighting for LGBT
equality, and addressing racism.
WHY THEY LEAN DEMOCRATIC
#VOTING
HOW MILLENNIALS FEEL
AH, HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM
Voter turnout in the 2014 elections – nationwide
– was at its lowest level in 72 years. Just 36% of
adults showed up at the polls to vote. Among
those between the ages of 20 and 34, only 22%
voted. In the 2012 Presidential election between
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, only 43% of
Millennials voted.
Why do you think so many Millennials are not
showing up to the polls on Election Day in this
country?
MILLENNIALS DON’T SEE VOTING AS A
CIVIC DUTY OR RESPONSIBILITY.
Many younger voters say their generation has not been taught the importance of
voting and have not lived through tough times to realize and respect that right.
“Our generation takes our
opportunity to vote for
granted.” (OH Democrat)
“There is less patriotism
today.” (FL Democrat)
“It’s not looked at like an
honor or a privilege to vote.”
(FL Democrat)
MILLENNIALS DON’T THINK THEIR
VOTE REALLY COUNTS.
“Millennials are known for wanting instant gratification and with elections
and voting…you go years and don’t see what you were promised.”
“You vote for politicians that make
you promises, but they don’t follow
through, so you feel like you’re
burned” (FL Democrat)
“It’s a crap shoot no
matter what. When Bush
and the Republicans
were in power there
were problems, and now
with Obama there are
still problems.”
(OH Republican)
“There’s never really been any major
changes happening so you’re left
feeling your vote doesn’t really
count.” (FL Democrat)
MILLENNIALS THINK THE PROCESS IS
INCONVENIENT AND ANTIQUATED.
This is the “meet me where I am” generation that has come to expect (and
demand) efficiency and flexibility.
“We’re used to doing
everything online. Online
voting should be looked
at.” (FL Democrat)
“Everyone our age has had
technology their whole lives.
It’s silly we still need to go
through the actual process.”
(CO Democrat)
MILLENNIALS
HOW TO REACH
MILLENNIALS CRAVE AUTHENTICITY.
They can recognize spin when they hear it, and
they distrust politicians who don’t sound
authentic.
They want candidates to talk to them like they talk
to their friends.
MILLENNIALS VALUE BREVITY.
The lofty, lengthy rhetoric doesn’t resonate with
this audience as much. They want candidates to
get to the point.
Millennials are the social media generation.
They’re used to communicating in statuses and
tweets.
MILLENNIALS REQUIRE REPITITION.
It used to be in political campaigns that voters
needed to see a TV advertisement or mail piece
seven to nine times before it started to register
with them. Millennials don’t watch TV or read the
mail as often.
Campaigns will have to be more message
disciplined to reach Millennials and hit the same
message many, many, many times across many,
many many different mediums.
MILLENNIALS LIVE ON THEIR PHONES.
Millennials use their mobile devices to get their
news and information and to keep in touch with
family and friends. They use them to watch
movies and TV shows, listen to music, and pass
the time when they’re bored.
Campaigns need to have a targeted effort that
reaches out to Millennials on these devices, and
pollsters need to make mobile calling a key part of
their methodology.
MILLENNIALS DON’T DIFFERENTIATE
BETWEEN ONLINE AND OFFLINE.
Social media shows Senator Sanders’s appeal
among Millennials more so than any other
candidate. But this is also translating into the
offline world. Folks are showing up at his rallies,
wearing t-shirts, and putting “Bernie” bumper
stickers on their cars.
This generation doesn’t see a difference between
the way they interact online and the way they
interact offline.
FINAL THOUGHTS
FINAL THOUGHTS
 The mood of Millennial electorate is…
 The issues fueling this helplessness are…
 More needs to be done to convince Millennials that…
 The Millennial vote is very much…
MARTIN SHULL / martin@meetingstreetresearch.com
ROB AUTRY / rob@meetingstreetresearch.com
Meeting Street Research is a leading public
opinion research firm based in Charleston, SC.
The research team has more 30 years of
combined public opinion research experience
and over 2,000 research projects under our
belt. Meeting Street Research uses both
traditional methods and innovative approaches
in opinion research to help elected officials,
public policy and advocacy organizations, non-
profits, media organizations, and companies
both big and small across the globe.
HLN rebranded itself in 2014 with the mission of
providing the social media community with the
first all-screens home for the best social news and
lifestyle content in the world. Inspired by the
national passion for sharing news, and the
technology that makes the flow of information
instantly accessible, HLN rips its headlines from
social media and actively interacts with consumers
and what they are searching, shopping, playing,
sharing, creating, and watching. HLNtv.com is
designed to be the digital home for the nation's
most popular social media content.

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Understanding the Political Minds of Millennials

  • 2. WHAT WE DID Denver, CO Sept 24th Orlando, FL Sept 23rd Columbus, OH Sept 21st  10 Republican-leaning Millennial voters  10 Democratic-leaning Millennial voters On behalf of HLN’s Millennial Project, Meeting Street Research conducted a series of focus groups among Millennial voters in the swing states of Ohio, Florida, and Colorado. All participants were between the ages of 18 and 34, likely voters with high interest in the 2016 Presidential election. In each location, we conducted groups of:
  • 3. QUICK FACTS 19%  40% Millennials made up 19% of the electorate in 2012. By 2020, this number will grow to 40%. 60% DEM 37% GOP ?
  • 4. ABOUT THE STATE OF THE UNION HOW MILLENNIALS FEEL
  • 5. “Everyone takes a super extreme viewpoint and there’s no way that anyone can agree on anything.” (CO Democrat) “More and more divided. Maybe it’s just my increased awareness, but it seems like since I’ve been an adult there’s been less agreement in Congress.” (CO Republican) …THIS COUNTRY AS MORE DIVIDED THAN UNITED As one Millennial notes, “we are not a very united United States.” These younger voters see a nation split along partisan and ideological lines, along religious and non- religious lines, along gender as well as ethnicity and racial lines, and along socioeconomic lines. “When you are divided further on the extreme conservative and liberal sides, you are taking focus away from the big things like how to get the economy back on track.” (OH Republican)
  • 6. THE ISSUES IMPORTANT TO THEM HOW MILLENNIALS FEEL
  • 7. …THERE IS AGREEMENT ON THE KEY ISSUES. Millennials point to three key issues for why they struggle to get their financial footing: Lack of good-paying jobs Soaring education costs (and debt) Rising health care costs + + 1 2 3
  • 8. THE ECONOMY & JOBS “When you make more than the average person and you’re struggling, it’s hard to imagine how other people are getting by.”  The Republican-leaning Millennials worry…  The Democratic-leaning Millennials worry… But, the big worry across both sets of Millennials here is the lack of good-paying jobs where wages rise at the same rate as education and health care costs. !
  • 9. EDUCATION COSTS These Millennials have a hard time believing the American Dream is achievable today. Instead, Millennials are struggling to get through college – either bringing on massive amounts of debt or dropping out of school because they can’t afford it – only to find a job market lacking jobs that match their skills and training. Millennials feel they’re stuck paying back loans on a degree they can’t use with a paycheck that’s too small.
  • 10. HEALTH CARE COSTS The health insurance coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act is adding to the financial burden Millennials are having to shoulder today. Millennials say they are forced to pay for coverage – regardless of whether they use it or can afford it – that they don’t see the value in having. “I’m shelling out thousands for coverage I don’t use. And when I do, I still have to pay to use the coverage.”
  • 11. OTHER KEY ISSUES  Planned Parenthood is a part of the discussion (on both sides).  So are race relations and policing.  Gun violence and gun laws are, too.  National security concerns, less so, but these groups were conducted before the Paris and San Bernardino attacks.  Immigration only registers a little bit (among Republican-leaning voters in Colorado).
  • 13. ACCORDING TO PEW… Party Identification by Generation with and without Leaners:
  • 14. ACCORDING TO PEW… Party Identification by Race and Generation:
  • 15. WHY THEY LEAN REPUBLICAN Republican-leaning Millennials believe less government intervention and more private sector autonomy are the keys to turning things around. Some Republican-leaning young voters believe social issues (abortion, same-sex marriage) are the defining values, but for most it’s primarily economic and fiscal conservatism that draws them to lean Republican.
  • 16. Democratic-leaning Millennials believe the government should be taking a more activist role in providing an economic “safety net” for the lower and middle class Americans and narrowing the income gap. They also see the Democratic Party as more diverse and more focused on protecting women’s reproductive rights, fighting for LGBT equality, and addressing racism. WHY THEY LEAN DEMOCRATIC
  • 18. AH, HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM Voter turnout in the 2014 elections – nationwide – was at its lowest level in 72 years. Just 36% of adults showed up at the polls to vote. Among those between the ages of 20 and 34, only 22% voted. In the 2012 Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, only 43% of Millennials voted. Why do you think so many Millennials are not showing up to the polls on Election Day in this country?
  • 19. MILLENNIALS DON’T SEE VOTING AS A CIVIC DUTY OR RESPONSIBILITY. Many younger voters say their generation has not been taught the importance of voting and have not lived through tough times to realize and respect that right. “Our generation takes our opportunity to vote for granted.” (OH Democrat) “There is less patriotism today.” (FL Democrat) “It’s not looked at like an honor or a privilege to vote.” (FL Democrat)
  • 20. MILLENNIALS DON’T THINK THEIR VOTE REALLY COUNTS. “Millennials are known for wanting instant gratification and with elections and voting…you go years and don’t see what you were promised.” “You vote for politicians that make you promises, but they don’t follow through, so you feel like you’re burned” (FL Democrat) “It’s a crap shoot no matter what. When Bush and the Republicans were in power there were problems, and now with Obama there are still problems.” (OH Republican) “There’s never really been any major changes happening so you’re left feeling your vote doesn’t really count.” (FL Democrat)
  • 21. MILLENNIALS THINK THE PROCESS IS INCONVENIENT AND ANTIQUATED. This is the “meet me where I am” generation that has come to expect (and demand) efficiency and flexibility. “We’re used to doing everything online. Online voting should be looked at.” (FL Democrat) “Everyone our age has had technology their whole lives. It’s silly we still need to go through the actual process.” (CO Democrat)
  • 23. MILLENNIALS CRAVE AUTHENTICITY. They can recognize spin when they hear it, and they distrust politicians who don’t sound authentic. They want candidates to talk to them like they talk to their friends.
  • 24. MILLENNIALS VALUE BREVITY. The lofty, lengthy rhetoric doesn’t resonate with this audience as much. They want candidates to get to the point. Millennials are the social media generation. They’re used to communicating in statuses and tweets.
  • 25. MILLENNIALS REQUIRE REPITITION. It used to be in political campaigns that voters needed to see a TV advertisement or mail piece seven to nine times before it started to register with them. Millennials don’t watch TV or read the mail as often. Campaigns will have to be more message disciplined to reach Millennials and hit the same message many, many, many times across many, many many different mediums.
  • 26. MILLENNIALS LIVE ON THEIR PHONES. Millennials use their mobile devices to get their news and information and to keep in touch with family and friends. They use them to watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, and pass the time when they’re bored. Campaigns need to have a targeted effort that reaches out to Millennials on these devices, and pollsters need to make mobile calling a key part of their methodology.
  • 27. MILLENNIALS DON’T DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN ONLINE AND OFFLINE. Social media shows Senator Sanders’s appeal among Millennials more so than any other candidate. But this is also translating into the offline world. Folks are showing up at his rallies, wearing t-shirts, and putting “Bernie” bumper stickers on their cars. This generation doesn’t see a difference between the way they interact online and the way they interact offline.
  • 29. FINAL THOUGHTS  The mood of Millennial electorate is…  The issues fueling this helplessness are…  More needs to be done to convince Millennials that…  The Millennial vote is very much…
  • 30. MARTIN SHULL / martin@meetingstreetresearch.com ROB AUTRY / rob@meetingstreetresearch.com Meeting Street Research is a leading public opinion research firm based in Charleston, SC. The research team has more 30 years of combined public opinion research experience and over 2,000 research projects under our belt. Meeting Street Research uses both traditional methods and innovative approaches in opinion research to help elected officials, public policy and advocacy organizations, non- profits, media organizations, and companies both big and small across the globe. HLN rebranded itself in 2014 with the mission of providing the social media community with the first all-screens home for the best social news and lifestyle content in the world. Inspired by the national passion for sharing news, and the technology that makes the flow of information instantly accessible, HLN rips its headlines from social media and actively interacts with consumers and what they are searching, shopping, playing, sharing, creating, and watching. HLNtv.com is designed to be the digital home for the nation's most popular social media content.