Millenials' climate views may impact swing districts this November


Climate change is an issue featured in news, reports, movies and documentaries. In the current political climate, there is a debate between scientists and politicians who either recognize or deny it. Millennials are expected to impact views on climate change when they vote in 10 congressional districts in the 2018 midterm elections this upcoming November.

A March 2018 Pew Research Center study titled “The Generation Gap in American Politics” reported that millennials, a generational cohort whose birth years range from 1981 to 1996, account for 28 percent of the United States adult population.

This study also reports that millennials are more liberal than older voters and are poised to have an outsized impact on political races for this year and the upcoming years. The study revealed that 94 percent of democrat millennials recognize global warming and 87 percent believe human activity is to blame. Fifty seven percent of Republican millennials believe there is evidence of global warming and 29 percent believe that human activity is to blame.

Millennials who recognize climate change tend to support the parties, politicians and candidates that support environmental efforts. Pew stated that 62 percent of millennial registered voters in January 2018 said that they wanted a democratic candidate for Congress in their district this fall.

Millennials may make an impact in the 2018 midterm elections, especially in the 10 swing districts with large populations of young people and college campuses.

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement developed a youth electoral significance index to highlight which congressional districts will be influenced by people ages 18 to 29 in midterm elections. The five out of 10 House seats that are included in the midterm elections are Iowa 1st District, Minnesota 1st District, Minnesota 3rd District, Michigan 11th District and Colorado 6th District. The remaining five districts include Minnesota 8th District, Illinois 6th District, Nebraska 2nd District, Minnesota 2nd District and California 39th District. Strong voter turnout in many districts is   expected.

Scientific American reported in a March 5 article titled “Millennials’ Climate Views Could Sway 10 House Elections This November” that, “A national poll on the generic congressional ballot, released by CNN last week, showed 54 percent of voters preferring Democrats and 38 percent favoring Republicans. Those numbers moved from 49 percent Democratic to 44 percent Republican a month earlier.”

Millennials are the only generation in which a majority, or 57 percent, maintain liberal attitudes with 25 percent indicating consistently liberal views and 32 percent indicating mostly liberal views.

The article also mentioned, “Just 12 percent have consistently or mostly conservative attitudes, the lowest of any generation.”

As a result, millennials tend to support candidates from the Democratic Party, as democrats recognize and support changes to counter global warming.

However, millennials’ liberal views go beyond their wish to bring more attention to the global warming issue. The Pew study found that only 27 percent of millennials agreed with President Donald Trump's views, while 65 percent disagreed.

Among Generation X, Trump had a 36 percent approval rating. Trump had a 44 percent approval rating among baby boomers. The silent generation, born between 1928 and 1945, gave him a 46 percent approval rating.

With the 2018 midterms elections coming up, many millennials are expected to act by voting for candidates that promote their beliefs.

The younger generation can decide which candidates secure the 10 U.S. House of Representatives seats.