Can Clinton Count on Massachusetts?

March 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton has several strong supporters in Massachusetts, the least of which is Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III. Also showing solidarity for Clinton are the Mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh, and the Attorney General of Massachusetts, Maura Healey. These prominent Massachusetts officials can have an undeniable impact on the Clinton campaign, and already used some influence in the New Hampshire primary.

 

Despite that, Clinton lost to Bernie Sanders at the New Hampshire primary. This trio pushed for her success, through as Healey said, “pounding the pavement.” This includes the classic knocking on doors approach, with many Walsh volunteers breaking ground throughout New Hampshire towns. According to the Boston Herald, Walsh noted how going home-to-home is the most critical part and shows which candidate has the best organization. Meeting with constituents allows for the one-on-one opportunity to hear their concerns that is missing from the televised debates and town halls.

 

This seemingly old-fashioned approach to networking in this new technological age, is much more personal. The importance of garnering the attention of the millennials (between ages of 18-34) has increasingly been emphasized during this presidential election process. Most notably, they are relatively larger than the Baby Boomer generation (between ages 51-69) with a million more potential votes. It has been forecasted that millennials will not outvote the older generation this year, but it could be possible by 2020. The Boomers are more likely to vote, because they have a bigger stake with reference to healthcare and social security. Millennials, on the other hand, are financially struggling so opportunities for social programs could entice more of them to vote.

 

Even though there are more college degree-holding people, those between 25 and 32 make half as less than those ages in 1984. Much of this disparity is due to debt of student loans with two-thirds of millennials borrowing money to attend college, compared to only two-fifths of Baby Boomers.

 

The unpredictability of millennial voters is why campaigning began back in August with “Team Healey” leading the charge and Kennedy following up in October. Kennedy stressed how glad he was to help support Clinton, noting the ultimate gravity of the upcoming primaries. Massachusetts, the former Clinton 2008 bastion, with the influence of millennials, could falter to the increasingly liberal, Sanders. Will the political resources of Massachusetts Democratic leaders aid Clinton for her race to the White House and secure the millennial vote? Only time will tell.

 

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