Their enthusiasm about Clinton and Christie is “meaningless,” Levine says, because the next election is roughly two years out — plenty of time for things, and tastes, to change. The enthusiasm about voting seems about right, if a little high; while exit polls showed only 23 percent of millennials hit the polls in the 2014 midterms, Levine points out, participation almost always spikes in four-year cycles.
“It will pop up to around 50 percent in a presidential election,” Levine says. “If you don’t know who your senator is, you’re not likely to vote in an off-year election. There’s a lot more [political] knowledge in a presidential year. Enthusiasm is kind of an indicator, but a loose one.”
What’s most interesting, he says, is that the millennials are, arguably, more liberal than their parents were at the same age — and further to the left than young people were during the 1960s, the era that many say defined the liberal ideology.