Bernie Sanders’ low voter turnout due to spring break
Younger demographics are infamous for consistently having less voter turnout in the presidential elections. However, Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, is gaining a tremendous amount of support from younger audiences. He is leading in the Democratic field among millennials, capturing around 84 percent of voters ages 17 to 29. Despite an overwhelming amount of support from young voters, turnout was low for Sanders during the Super Tuesday contests. The lack of support can be blamed on voting days clashing with college students’ spring break schedule, or what Politico titled it as: Bernie’s spring break blues.
Many colleges’ spring break schedules this year interfere directly with the majority of primary and caucus dates. According to a Politico analysis, over half a million college students from 14 different states are on spring break during the March primaries and caucuses. Therefore, Sanders is lacking much of the support he needs to travel ahead of Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, in the polls.
However, many young Bernie supporters are aware of the problem and are working hard to prevent it. By spreading the word on alternative options, such as absentee balloting, more students are able to get in their vote despite the scheduling problem. It will still be a struggle, with large universities like Michigan State, Ohio State University, and the University of South Florida, which is a large portion of Sanders’ voters, on spring spring break during voting times. On NBC’s, “Meet the Press,” Sanders states:
“What I’ve said over and over again, we will do well when young people, when working-class people come out. We do not do well when the voter turnout is not large. We did not do as good a job as I had wanted to bring out a large turnout.”
Sanders’ campaign is so dependent on voter turnout within a demographic that isn’t typically as involved in the election process as other age groups. Without a large portion of Sanders’ supporters around to back him up, he will have a difficult time keeping up his momentum in April.
Do you think Bernie will still be able to keep up despite low voter turnout in March? What else could be done to help? Let me know by tweeting me @julimiller97