Iowa’s secretary of state predicts “millennial” voters will decide this year’s election.
“Specifically the 18-to-26 year olds. That’s my prediction. Watch that group,” says Paul Pate, the state official who oversees elections in Iowa.
Pate says most voters above the age of 26 have become allied with either the Republican or Democratic Parties, but not millennials. That means in a close election where undecided voters are key, millennials who haven’t been disillusioned by politics have an outsized role according to Pate.
“They are still fresh,” Pate says. “They have not been tainted. They have a passion still because they want a piece of the American dream and as I go visit with them on the campuses of our colleges, they haven’t made their mind up. They haven’t said: ‘I’m a Republican’ or ‘I’m a Democrat.’ They’re listening — so candidates, go! Listen!”
Iowa State University political science professor David Andersen says turn-out is “the big unknown.”
“Who’s going to show up to vote? We have an electorate unlike any we’ve seen before,” Andersen asks. “It continues to get more diverse, but it seems like this year the normal partisan groupings are breaking down. Donald Trump may attract some Democratic voters. Some Republican voters may turn out for Hillary Clinton. We really have no idea what the election’s going to look like on November 8.”
Andersen and Pate made their comments this morning during taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program that airs at 7:30 tonight.