The youth vote goes to Sanders

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By Olivia Rubick
MI First Election

East Lansing – The Wisconsin primary turned out just as polls had predicted. Ted Cruz pulled away with the Republican votes and Democrat Bernie Sanders won his sixth state in a row.

Sanders is gaining momentum in his campaign in general, but especially when it comes to the youth. In Wisconsin, he defeated Hillary Clinton among voters ages 18-29 by a margin of 82 parent to 18 percent, according to CNN politics.

April Ciaravino, a Troy, Michigan, resident reflected the generation difference. “I am not a Bernie Sanders supporter. I do not support his platform on income and wealth inequality. He wants to take from the rich and give to the poor. There is a reason things have never been like that before and it is because it is not logical or fair. My daughter is voting in her first election this year and is planning on voting for Bernie Sanders,” said Ciaravino. “My husband and I have decided to have our children pay for their own college, so she will be leaving with quite a lot of debt. She has gone to Sanders rallies and listened to what he has had to say and believes he will fight hard to make sure that students do not leave college with an absurd amount of debt, if any.”

Wisconsin was not the first state where the youth stood behind Sanders. Much like the numbers in Wisconsin, Sanders beat Clinton 84 percent to 14 percent in Iowa on Feb. 1.

Young voters have a more favorable view of socialism than older voters and this is playing into Sanders’ hand. According to a poll conducted by YouGov, voters aged 18-29 had a favorable view of socialism but of voters 65 and older, only 15 percent saw socialism favorably.

“I personally think Bernie Sanders is so appealing to the youth because all they see is his position on the big issues. For example, he wants to create more decent paying jobs and make college tuition free. Any young first-time voter looking at that is going to say, ‘well, yes, obviously he is going to get my vote,’” said Grand Valley State University political science major Greg McGeary. “I have talked to numerous first-time voters and after our conversation I realize the only knowledge they have on Sanders are the main issues he is building his campaign on and nothing negative or even in depth,” said McGeary.

The next primaries are in Wyoming on April 9 and New York on April 19. In New York, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be looking to find a home-field advantage. Clinton served two terms as a New York State U.S. senator. Sanders was born there.

Sanders may be trailing Clinton in delegates, but young voters are standing behind him. A Siena College poll shows Sanders winning 57 percent of voters aged 18-34.

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