Date

2018

Major

Political Science (B.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Joshua Kennedy

Abstract

As the millennial population has grown into adulthood, this generation has been labeled as an entitled group which is politically inactive, with lower voter turnout than older generations. At the same time, existing literature shows that the federal government in America has become increasingly polarized over the past decades and less representative of the general population which still generally moderate. I argue that low voter turnouts for millennials are a direct result of this increased polarization as a more moderate young people feel like they are not represented by elite politicians, who generally fall into older generations and the highest possible social class. Through surveys and interviews with college students, I analyze the perception and trust level that millennials have of the government and how this affects their likelihood to vote in Presidential elections. Millennials report that they feel as if their individual vote does not matter and that their voice has no effect on potential changes in the highest level of government, creating a problem that must be addressed.

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