Recently a number of political observers have surmised the reasons behind Buttigieg’s lack of support among young voters, who, “Rising” anchor Krystal Ball suggested Wednesday, might have been expected to express enthusiasm for “the guy running on generational change.”
The recent polling “provides a stunning window into the generational divide that has truly cleaved the party in two,” Ball said. “The progressive and anti-establishment candidates are garnering a full 79% of the under-35 vote…and honestly it makes complete sense.”
The generations whose political opinions were represented in the recent polling currently owe more than $620 billion in student loan debt collectively. Fewer millennials—people ranging in age from about 23 to 38—are able to afford home ownership than baby boomers did at their age, and unaffordability has been cited as a key reason many millennials are delaying or avoiding starting families. And despite spending money in roughly the same ways their parents did, millennials are much more likely to struggle financially.
As Molly Roberts wrote in the Washington Post last month, young voters’ lack of enthusiasm for Buttigieg likely stems from his perceived lack of interest in leveling the playing field to benefit his own generation.
“We’ve all been taught to do what Buttigieg did: scramble toward success through accumulation—of degrees and other bona fides but also of money, of homes and other items, of anything that we can hold up to prove that we lived up to the high hopes of our own parents,” Roberts wrote. “And we’re afraid that once we make it, there will be no there there—that the whole thing is empty.”
“Buttigieg hasn’t managed to convince many young Americans that he stands for anything other than ambition, with a stale side of duty,” she added, “and until he does, those Americans will see in him the scariest thing of all: the hollowness of our own achievement culture staring back at us from the mirror.”
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