After a nasty, race-baiting election filled with harsh rhetoric, political shenanigans and social media mischief, you have to wonder if Americans have lost their minds. Turns out, though, if you get people in a room — even if they disagree politically — they can still have a reasonable discussion.
After a nasty election that featured race-baiting, lying and social media shenanigans, it’s worth noting that dozens of groups around the country are getting Republicans, Democrats and independents to sit down and listen to one another respectfully. And there is good evidence that the best of these grassroots approaches can chip away at the political walls we’ve erected.
In the current Legislature, the bipartisan Oregon Future Caucus, of which Eugene Democratic Rep. Julie Fahey is a co-chair. The other co-chairs are Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Roseburg; Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland; and Rep. David Brock Smith, R-Port Orford. The contrasts among their ideologies could hardly be more pronounced. However, they are committed to finding common legislative ground on such issues as affordable housing and college costs.
The Tuesday midterms saw a number of historic firsts, including a record-breaking number of millennial candidates running for office across the country. According to Axios, about 700 millennials ran in the roughly 6,000 state legislative races on Tuesday, though far less were running for U.S. Congress.
The enthusiasm for the midterms seems to have bled into every age group — and millennials are no exception. But beyond volunteering and donating, a large number millennials are running for office at federal and state levels. Run For Something, a progressive group that recruits younger candidates for office, told Axios that there are 600-700 millennials running on Democratic tickets in nearly every state (46, to be exact).
Millennials are poised to overtake baby boomers as the largest generation in the electorate within the next year. Generation X, millennials and Generation Z have the potential to be a force to reckon with — but only if they're able to overcome the foremost obstacle barring them from political relevance: apathy.
Around 700 state legislature candidates running in the 2018 midterm elections, the majority of them Democrats, are millennials. If most of these candidates were to win their respective contests among the 6,000 state legislative races across 46 states, the average age of legislatures were be lowered to 56.
As another election approaches, reports of the elusive millennial voter and what effect they could have on the 2018 midterms have started to crop up again. Could this be the election that voters born between 1981 and 1998 turn out in record numbers, surpassing the number of baby boomers at the polls?