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Millennials' Voting Behavior: The Impact of Social Media

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Young voters are the future of the country, yet are disengaged and disinterested in politics, leading to low turnout rates. This paper focuses on the Millennial generation, which consists of

Young voters are the future of the country, yet are disengaged and disinterested in politics, leading to low turnout rates. This paper focuses on the Millennial generation, which consists of adults ages 18 to 33, and at times, narrowly focuses on the subset of college students. Since individuals should learn about the presidential candidates and the election before casting a vote, I analyze the similarities and differences between receiving election content through television news, a traditional source, compared to social media. Next, I examine the importance of political expression and political discussion, along with how millennials engaging in such activity on social media allows for a deeper level of engagement in elections than what was possible before the birth of social media. Thus, as opposed to focusing on the reasons milllennials shy away from politics, the purpose of the first three chapters is to highlight the potential benefits for using social media during presidential elections. Lastly, I analyze millennials' voting behaviors, particularly the generation's preference for liberal social values. Since we are currently in the 2016 U.S. presidential election season, the purpose of this chapter is to highlight current research regarding millennials' voting patterns, which should then be compared to the future 2016 general election studies. By analyzing consistent and divergent trends, researchers can further add to the discussion of millennials' political behavior. Although I dedicate a brief part to the 2016 presidential election in Chapters 2 through 4 to discuss how trends are similar or different from current research, the overall purpose of this paper is to inform readers about how millennials learn, engage, and participate in presidential elections.

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  • 2016-05