Q&A with Scott McClean on the presidential election

David Friedlander

Political science professor Scott McLean gives his thoughts on the millennial vote and the impact their vote has on the election. In addition, he provides his prediction for Connecticut’s outcome on Election Day.

Regarding the millennial vote…

“One thing about 18 to 35-year-old voters is that they are diverse. So one of the things that we are seeing in the key swing states is that states become more volatile when they get a younger demographic. The average age of the state goes down [and] you can start to predict that that state will start to swing. That’s because people who are younger have not yet established a party identity. They call themselves independents, they tend to not think that social change can come through political action… they also have a different orientation toward voting. People in that age group are much less likely to think of voting as a civic obligation.”

Regarding the impact of the 18-35 population on the election…

“Absolutely, yeah, they would have an effect. The trick is to get them to turn out, and that’s really what is up to the campaigns… Obama was extremely effective in getting younger voters. Literally, younger voters decided the last two elections. If they had voted at the level that they had in 2000 or 2004, [it’s] very possible that the Republicans in both 2008 and 2012 would have won and beat Obama. So that’s a really important vote. This year, neither candidate has nearly the appeal with younger voters that Obama did.”

Regarding the outcome of Connecticut in the presidential election…

“I don’t think that Trump has a chance in Connecticut… We just don’t see any evidence that Connecticut would swing from Democratic to Republican. We are the bluest state in the United States along with Delaware and Hawaii. [They] are with us in that we have Democratic majorities in all branches of government, and we have large advantages in voter registrations with Democrats. So the only way that this could happen is if all the unaffiliated voters, the vast majority of them, went for Donald Trump.”

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