Politics

Hillary Clinton's Essay for Millennial Voters

September 19th 2016

By:
Almie Rose

Hillary Clinton and her campaign have coyly reached out to millennials before (her "delete your account" tweet comes to mind) but now she's switching it up and focusing on a more direct approach — with an essay on Mic titled "Here's What Millennials Have Taught Me."

The Democratic presidential nominee has been struggling to capture millennial votes, specifically when it comes to younger millennials. FiveThirtyEight reports she's "winning under-25 voters by half as much as Obama did" and is losing these voters to third-party candidates.

Perhaps her Mic essay hopes to interest these voters. Clinton isn't shy about praising the much-maligned generation, writing,

"Here's what I have learned: Your generation is the most open, diverse and entrepreneurial generation in our country's history.

[...]

You've reached for the opportunities that come with a college education at the highest rates of any generation in history — but faced ballooning tuition costs and crushing student debt like never before. Many of you entered the workforce during the worst recession since the Great Depression. And you've come of age during two deadly, costly wars in the Middle East.

And yet, despite all these challenges, you've never given up. Not even close."

Clinton acknowledges "there's a lot that needs fixing" and then lays out four main policy proposals.

1. College

"First, everyone who wants to go to college should be able to without drowning in debt," she states, before outlining her Sen. Bernie Sanders-inspired higher education plan, which aims to provide college to those who want to attend without accruing the seemingly endless debt.

The plan, in a nutshell:

"If you already have loans, we'll let you refinance them, defer them to start a business or forgive them if you spend 10 years in public service."

And if you already have student debt and want to see how much you'd save under Clinton's plan (or if you're planning for college), she offers a link to her thorough college calculator on her website.

2. Jobs

Clinton wants to provide jobs that pay bills but also wants to provide "work you love and find meaningful." Her ideas:

"So we'll create more good-paying jobs, raise the minimum wage and guarantee equal pay."

Clinton's website provides further details on her job creation plan, including her position on a topic that's stirred a lot of debate during the 2016 presidential election: the Trans Pacific Partnership. Though Clinton faced scrutiny from both primary opponent Sanders and presidential candidate Donald Trump for her past support of the TPP — which progressives see as a major threat to U.S. workers — she now states on her website that the trade deal does not "meet a high bar of creating good-paying jobs and raising pay."

3. Child Care

Clinton has long touted her advocacy for young children, including her work in the 1970s with the Children's Defense Fund, in her efforts to win over progressive voters. The former first lady has at times run afoul of childcare advocates, particularly over Bill Clinton's signing of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, which made it difficult for certain families to receive federal assistance.

Her current childcare plan has been labeled "ambitious" by The Washington Post.

hillary-clinton-why-so-cold

"It's outrageous that in 2016, the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid family leave of any kind," she writes. "So we'll make high-quality child care and preschool available to every family in every community."

On her website, Clinton says she will pay for this with "tax reforms that will ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share."

4. Citizen's United

"Of course, to do any of these things," Clinton sums up "we can't have secret unaccountable money poisoning our politics." She continues:

"So I'll appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United and even propose a constitutional amendment to do the same. And by doing that, we'll make sure that no special interests can get in the way of protecting and expanding civil rights, LGBT rights and all human rights."

Clinton further elaborates on LGBT rights and equality here.

Clinton's outreach comes at a time when millennials are growing as potential force in U.S. electoral politics, but not yet fully realizing that power. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials make up a roughly equal share of the U.S. electorate as baby boomers, but are turning out to the polls at much lower rates.

HRC pew

Considering that polls show her support with millennials has gone down since this summer, Clinton needs this generation to stand with her soon.