Millennial Women Have the Power to Decide Midterm Elections

August 14, 2018, 7:22 PM UTC

Next year, millennials will likely overtake baby boomers as the largest living adult generation and thus, the largest group of voters. If they show up to vote this fall, the 18- to 35-year-old demographic could decide what happens in midterm elections across the country.

Millennial women, like the women of other generations, are more likely than millennial men to get out to the polls come November, according to “Inside The Complicated World Of The Millennial Woman Voter,” a new survey from Refinery29 and CBS News. But only 30% of the 18.4 million millennial women in America said they will “definitely” vote in November.

According to data from Pew Research Center, 70% of millennial identify as Democrats or Democrat-leaning, while about half of millennial men do. More than two thirds of them want to see a Democratic Congress. About 53% say that the Trump Administration’s policies have hurt women. This could spell a political shift to the left if millennial women show up to vote in the midterms and in future elections.

The Refinery29 and CBS New survey found that nearly three-quarters of millennial women believe healthcare is a right and a top issue in 2018. Civil rights, equality, and equal pay also ranked as top issues among those surveyed.

Reproductive rights ranked “surprisingly low,” according to the survey, with 45% of female millennials saying they were concerned about restrictions to abortion access, which could come into question if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court. About 66% of millennial women believe that gun laws should be made more strict.

If this group of women do vote this year, they won’t necessarily be voting for other women. In a record-breaking year for women seeking elected office, millennial women ranked gender and race of a candidate as a low priority in earning their vote. Millennial women of color (21%), however, are a bit more likely than millennial white women (18%) to rank being female as a priority. Young women of color (27%) are also much more likely to rank being a racial minority as a priority than white women (8%).

About 50% of millennial women surveyed said that culture and values are the biggest draw in a candidate, while only 26% rated belonging to their political party as a high priority in earning their vote.