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Millennials and the 2012 Election

Millennials and the 2012 Election

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Published by: tvnewser on Oct 18, 2012
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03/10/2014

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MILLENNIALS TO CANDIDATES: HUMOR ME60% OF MILLENNIALS SAY THEY’LL VOTE ACCOUNTING FOR AN ESTIMATED 50 MILLION VOTESCOMEDY IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO REACH THEM RESEARCH FINDS
NEW YORK, October 18, 2012 – Here's a fact that should interest President Barack Obama, Governor MittRomney, and anyone else with even a passing interest in the outcome of elections: there are 80 million Americans in the Millennial generation, ages 16-32. To put that number in perspective, there are just asmany Millennials as Boomers and twice as many as Gen Xers. And 60% of Millennials say that they areextremely or somewhat likely to vote - that’s almost 50 million votes.Leading up to the 2012 election, COMEDY CENTRAL partnered with TRU Insights and Insight Research toconduct an extensive research study seeking to define, frame, and understand what role humor plays inMillennials’ political beliefs, behaviors and capturing their vote.
Key findings include:
Do not underestimate Millennials: they are very aware of what’s going on in politics. And they are involved and influential.
When it comes to political comedies, they don’t watch to get informed; they watch becausethey are informed.
What a candidate thinks is funny tells Millennials who they really are.
Politicians must leverage humor to connect with Millennials: this generation needs humor,and they’re saying it will shape their votes.
Engaged and Optimistic, Despite Real Concerns
68% agree the 2012 Election results will have a long-term impact on the direction this country goes in with62% saying that they are extremely or somewhat likely to vote. Only 15% claim it doesn’t matter who wins.Today’s economic condition continues to take a massive toll on their age group in particular.
Millennial unemployment remains stuck at 12.7% (August 2012)
Student debt tops $1 trillion
52% have been personally impacted by economic downturn
26% have had a close friend/family member to lose their home
21% have lost their own job in the past four years
only 34% agree that the American Dream is alive and well And yet, we see resilience from this generation. 6 in 10 agree they’re generally optimistic about their future,regardless of party affiliation. In other words, they are not turning into Gen Xers.But despite their optimism, two-thirds agree the current political system is broken and have concerns abouttoday’s political landscape, with the majority of Millennials expressing a desire for the two parties to put egoaside and learn to work together and for there to a be the creation of a third, more moderate party.Being group oriented from birth, Millennials believe that their generation is uniquely positioned to reachacross the aisle. They crave a middle ground, are looking for less talk and more action and while on 22%believe they’d make a great President, most believe that when they run the Government they will be able to
 
COMEDY CENTRAL
®
TEAMS UP WITH BONNAROO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL – page 2set partisanship aside and come together to compromise and make the hard decisions that move the countryforward.(more)
 
Millennials, who have inherited a deep-seated activist mentality from their Boomer generation parents, believethe best way to achieve social change is through digital efforts.
53% of Millennials think it’s their responsibility to bring about change in the world
68% of Millennials believe that their generation have the most power to effect change
66% agree it is possible to create the most change by spreading the world online thanstanding on the street, rallying and protesting
63% would rather protest online than protest in person And, without a doubt, their ‘wevolution’ mindset is the foundation of their new consciousness. When asked if their decision on who to vote for in the presidential election is more about “how it makes the world on a wholebetter” or “how it makes my situation better”, 73% chose the former.
Humor Me
Politicians who want to court the vote of this increasingly important generation must use their sense of humor to appear more authentic, more relatable, and more likable. Not only will this drive the Millennial vote towardsthem, not doing so will drive votes away from them. Candidates who refuse to turn on their sense of humor, doso at their own peril as 4 in 10 Millennials are less likely to vote for a candidate who lacks a sense of humor and/or is unable to poke fun at him/herself.
62% like it when politicians use their sense of humor 
54% say politicians need to loosen up
55% want politicians to show their sense of humor more often
54% agree the funnier a politician, the more likeable he/she isBut candidates must leverage the power of humor carefully. Non-stop, over the top humor, can back-fire andmake it hard to know when someone is being serious and isn’t befitting of the political office. Millennials wantcandidates who recognize the boundaries of where their humor can and cannot go.
Show Them the Funny
 A candidate’s sense of humor and tastes in comedy is important in fostering a connection with Millennials.When candidates visit late night talk/political satire shows it’s as though they are throwing away the tele-prompters and talking points and showing their real personality. In doing so, they provide an opportunity to beseen as real, relatable and more authentic. In turn, this can increase Millennials interest in learning more aboutthe candidate and listening closer to their message. Exhibiting a sense of humor increases their likability.Between two politicians who had similar views and experience, Millennials would likely vote for the funnier,more relatable candidate.
If I could only know one thing about a candidate, it would be:
40% their favorite comedian
33% their favorite band
27% their favorite sports team And there is no better venue for Millennials to get to see this trait than through interviews with a comedian,which they feel present a more honest view of candidates and is far and away the best way to really get toknow them.
If I really want to see a candidate being himself/herself, I would look at:
33% interview with a comedian
14% live speech
8% formal debate
8% interview with a news anchor 
7% Facebook pages/updates
7% official web sites(more)

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