As the millennials hit their mid 20's to early 30's, a new generation is emerging into adulthood. Generation Z – which refers to those born after 1995 – will soon be turning 18, and you can bet that political candidates are already brainstorming on how to court their vote in 2016.
One thing's for sure- this next generation, brought up on touch screens and social media, will bring an entirely new perspective to the cultural, political and economic landscape. And if political candidates want to reach them, they'll have to learn to navigate technological platforms. Having been exposed to 10 hours of daily screen time since infancy, Gen Zers are pros at multitasking, to the point that their average attention span lasts 8 seconds. Thus, if political candidates can't hook these youngsters in with snappy soundbites and memorable graphics, they'll be sure to lose them.
As both Republicans and Democrats seek the younger vote, it's interesting to ponder whether Generation Z will be more conservative or liberal leaning. On the one hand, with 72% of Gen Zers stating that they want to own their own business one day and 53% saying they'd be most likely to save money they were given, it could stand to reason that they would be more fiscally conservative.
However, the high value that Generation Z puts on environmental consciousness, with 76% concerned about humanity's impact on the planet, could lead them to favor the Democratic party. Gun control could also prove to be a deciding factor, since 43% of the generation believe school violence and shootings will be the biggest influence on their age group.
Only time will tell on which side of the line this next generation will land.