Presidential Campaign

Yes, really: Trump can win the youth vote

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The presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump can win over young voters. Yes, that’s right: the supposed bigot, who, according to the mainstream media, hates women and minorities, actually has a shot at capturing the millennial vote.

Democrat nominee Bernie Sanders is currently enjoying rock star status among young Americans. But once the 74-year-old socialist drops out of the race, the massive millennial generation, which could make up the largest voting bloc in November, will largely be up for grabs.

{mosads}Hillary Clinton would be unwise to assume she will simply inherit all of Sanders’ supporters once he throws in the towel.

Clinton is stiff, lacks any sense of humor or charisma, and reeks of bureaucracy. These factors are especially harmful during an election cycle when outsider status is a resume booster, and distrust in the federal government is at a record high among millennials. Young people will inevitably compare Clinton to Sanders, who wooed them with inspiring rhetoric and an “outsider” persona.

Many young people will simply stay at home on November 8, unless Trump gives them a reason not to.

Here are five assets that Trump has that, if utilized correctly, can help him grab a significant chunk of the youth vote:

He’s relatively secular. 

Republicans have criticized Trump for being too moderate on certain social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. While this may upset some in the base of the GOP, it will be an asset to Trump when it comes to rallying young voters. Millennials are more secular than their elders and overwhelmingly support gay marriage and the right to choose. Young people don’t want to hear about social issues, anyways. As the most diverse generation in the country, they largely want politicians to stay out of their personal lives.

He’s a job creator. 

Young Americans want to know how they can get good jobs and find pathways to prosperity. Who better to spread that message than an enormously successful businessman who built an empire and employs thousands? Around 34,000 of today’s jobs can be attributed to Trump. At a time when a record number of millennials are sitting in their parents’ basements, unable to find a good job, messages of economic growth will be motivating if conveyed effectively. 

He’s an outsider. 

Trump, like Sanders, can use his outsider status as a strength. The businessman is the antithesis of everything that the pantsuit-wearing, lifelong bureaucrat Clinton represents. Being an outsider will allow Trump to convince young people that he will bring something new to Washington, D.C. This fresh approach could get millennials excited about the future, like Obama did with his “Hope and Change” mantra in 2008.

He doesn’t take himself too seriously. 

Millennials want to embrace a candidate who isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself or herself. One of Trump’s most “likable” moments was when he showed off his dad dance moves to a Drake song on SNL. We need to see more of that from Trump. His relaxed attitude is highlighted when he interacts with his supporters. Who can forget when he gave the mic to an ecstatic Hispanic woman on stage, or when he invited supporters on stage after they handled a protester. Compare that to stiff, icy Clinton who once coldly told an adoring young woman to “go to the end of the line” after being asked for an autograph.

He’s a cultural icon.

Trump isn’t just a businessman — as the former outspoken host of NBC’s The Apprentice, he’s also a pop culture icon. Instead of downplaying that, he should embrace it. His persona blurs the line perfectly between entertainment and politics; if leveraged, this can get the attention of young people and allow Trump to create a hip brand for himself. The presumptive GOP nominee should welcome interviews with hip blogs like Buzzfeed, IJ Review, and Vox. He should also bring his bold personality, big ideas, and politically incorrect jokes on a college campus tour around the country. Every college kid would show up to see him; even the ones who hate him.

Capturing the youth vote won’t be easy. Trump will need to strategically play up his assets that are appealing to young people, and spread the right message in a snappy, out-of-the box way. And a smart Vice President pick will also go a long way to help dispel accusations that Trump is a racist bigot. But given the uniqueness of this presidential election — coupled with a bureaucratic, unlikable opponent — Trump very well may shock the political experts like he did in the Republican Primary. 

Kristin Tate is a Conservative Columnist and Author of the new book, “Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You For a Ride and what You can Do About It”

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

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