Gun Safety, Climate Change Are Top Priorities for Millennials in 2016

A new poll commissioned by USA Today and Rock the Vote has given some insight into millennials top concerns for the 2016 election season. The survey was given to 1,141 young adults aged 18 to 34, and asked participants to identify their political leanings, social and economic policy preferences, and priorities for the country. As it turns out, millennials are less likely than previous generations to be affiliated with a particular political party. Their priorities include climate change action, gun safety laws and the economy (presidential candidates, take note.)

Millennials political leanings

Young Americans are less staunch on partisan issues than their parents or grandparents, and USA Today notes that the under-35 crowd is less ideological than previous generations. Even conservative millennials tend to lean left (42 percent) on social issues, while the majority of young adults (38 percent) identify as economically conservative.

Despite being collectively liberal on social issues and conservative on fiscal ones, young adults do seem to havepartisansympathies. Forty-one percent of millennials identify as Democrat, while just 28 percent consider themselves Republican.

Favored presidential candidates

Its no secret that political outliers have shaken things up in the race to the White House, and millennials voting preferences are case in point. The majority of young Democrats are Feeling the Bern for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, while most young Republicans support business mogul Donald Trump.

Top national priorities

So what do millennials want for their country? Overwhelmingly (and across partisan lines), they demand action on gun safety and climate change. About 82 percent of young voters want to enforce mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, and 80 percent would like the country to transition to a green energy landscapeby the year 2030. Other popular issues include requiring police officers to wear body cameras (with 76 percent support), prison sentencing reform for perpetrators of non-violent crimes (68 percent) and pathways to immigration for refugees (53 percent).

Millennials: Less partisan, more demanding of action, less likely to vote

What do the results of the survey tell us about millennial voting patterns? Whether due to more open minds or a lack ofknowledgeonpoliticalideologies, young Americans care less about typical partisan agendas and more about middle-of-the-road policies. They are socially tolerant, yet economically conservativelikely due to the impending threats of student and national debt.

Unfortunately, though, theyre also not very likely to vote. Fifty-five percent of millennials asserted that there are better ways to make a difference than to vote, and as few as four in 10 millennials plan to vote in the presidential primaries. Well have to see how young voters priorities and affiliations will play out in November.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Gun Safety, Climate Change Are Top Priorities for Millennials in 2016

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