by Donna Martinez
Former Senior Writer and Editor, John Locke Foundation
With an election on the horizon, pollsters are taking deep dives into the electorate to try and make sense of what could be coming. Will young people who are energized by the ‘resistance’ turn out to express their opposition to President Trump? Is there a Democratic ‘wave’ coming? Are Republicans cooked when it comes to attracting new members to the party? The Reuters/Ipsos poll includes some eye-opening data about a coveted pool of voters: Millennials.
Some Millennials who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 are now looking at supporting GOP congressional candidates, the poll found. And the same young voters are almost evenly split on the question of which party takes better care of the economy, with 34 percent favoring Democrats compared to 32 percent favoring Republicans — a twelve-point jump for the GOP since 2016.
White Millennials have turned toward Republicans the most. Support for both parties among young white voters is equal at 39 percent. This marks a big shift from 2016, when white Millennials supported Democrats over Republicans 47 percent to 33 percent.
You never know if polls reflect what is about to occur at the ballot box. They’re a snapshot in time. My view is that both major parties have problems. But I believe the midterms will be impacted just as much by a third group — the Washington news media. Last weekend’s embarrassing display of vitriol against women who work in the White House stripped away the last shred of credibility that was still attached to the Washington news media. The ‘roast’ wasn’t funny. The ‘jokes’ were insults. The ‘jokes’ dripped with venom. Those who already believe the Washington press isn’t objective now have video to illustrate their point. The ‘roast’ has ramifications well beyond any one election or any one president. A robust press is fundamental to a free society. But a robust press must be skeptical of ALL — not just the government officials they dislike. A robust press must test the veracity of ALL angles to a story — not just the ones they dislike. And most importantly, there shouldn’t be a “they” to the Washington press corps. Reporters should be independent thinkers.