Amid the distractions and attack ads, it has been difficult to tell if any candidate in the upcoming U.S. election is courting the youth vote.
A question to ponder as election day grows closer is: do they need it?
According to a poll from the Huffington Post in 2016, the Canadian youth vote had been paramount in getting Justin Trudeau elected as prime minister.
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In coming days, the public will find out if, in a similar fashion as with Trudeau, young liberals show up to vote for Joe Biden in the United States..
Or it may swing in the other direction; perhaps young conservatives will show up to back Trump.
The 2015 Canadian federal election can provide an insight into the youth vote, what it means, and how much of an impact it has.
Elections Canada stated that only about 39 per cent of young people, aged 18 to 24 voted in the 2011 election, when Stephen Harper was re-elected for his second term. Many of those belonging to this demographic would have been first-time voters.
The following election saw an increase in youth turnout.
In the 2015 election, 45 per cent of young voters voted for Trudeau, versus the comparatively small 25 per cent that voted for Harper.
Large number did not vote in 2016
Young voters showing up on, or before, election day could make a huge difference for either candidate.
According to Child Trends, the percentage of young people who voted in the U.S. decreased from 50 per cent to 39 percent from 1972 to the 2016 presidential election.
This suggests that there is an astounding number of young people who did not vote in the most recent election. If they vote this year, the increased numbers could possibly impact the results.
People have been sharing their opinions on young voters on social media.
On Oct. 31, Facebook user Kaye Kelly responded to a video posted by CNN about young voters showing up this year for the election
“I am so proud of our young voters,” Kelly’s message read. ” For years now younger voters didn’t show nearly as much interest in voting as I did back in 1960. But this year they are a shining light. Congratulations on showing all of us that your generation is not only interested, but you CARE. Makes me glad to know our planet has a chance to continue.”
Candidates wooing young voters
Joe Biden recently posted a campaign video on his YouTube channel that starts with a medley of Donald Trump’s quotes on climate change. Trump is quoted as saying “a lot of it’s a hoax” and expressing other skeptical views about climate change.
Climate change is a huge issue among younger crowds. Biden’s video could be seen as an attempt to woo young voters into supporting him in the election.
Trump has met with various young celebrities in his presidential career. These include Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and most recently rapper Lil Wayne.
Trump could be courting the youth vote with his proximity to these celebrities.
We’ll find out how well that strategy works when the ballots are counted on Nov. 3.