- - Monday, February 1, 2016

Millennials have made up their minds.

And on Monday, young voters in Iowa will be the first to share their preferences for the next president of the United States. 

On the left, the favorite will be Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed “socialist” and lover of all free things, who currently leads Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by double digits when it comes to millennial voters.

On the right, millennials are expected to support businessman and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed “winner” and anti-establishment candidate, who holds a dramatic lead among millennials over the large field of GOP candidates.

The power of the millennial voting bloc was revealed in 2008, when 66 percent of young voters backed Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain.

But will millennials show up again? Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump are borrowing some of President Obama’s emotional themes to ensure they do.

On the left, Mr. Sanders has drawn massive support from millennial voters who are sick of the status quo and intrigued by his “angry” campaign style and offers of free college tuition and health care.

On the right, Mr. Trump’s “no nonsense,” politically incorrect campaign has brought in the support of countless young voters who are fed up with the establishment and hope to “make America great again.”

But, while millennials on both sides of the aisle are unhappy and looking to fresh candidates for new leadership, they are clearly supporting these top contenders for very different reasons.

While supporters of Mr. Sanders are surprisingly all for socialism in the United States, an ideology fundamentally against the ethos of American capitalism, supporters of Mr. Trump are hoping for increased economic opportunity and growth.

Regardless of their contrasting ideologies, Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders are dominating the millennial vote and will certainly not be easy for their opponents to defeat as the presidential primary season kicks of in Iowa on Monday.

Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. The author’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.

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