Throughout history, U.S. political leader and candidates have embraced new technologies, including F. D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats on the radio and the first televised debates between R. Nixon and J. F. Kennedy, to communicate their message and connect with constituents (Vergeer, 2012). The expanding technological landscape today presents the future presidential candidates with the challenge of integrating the Internet and Social Media in their campaign strategy. Voter demographics are changing as the generation of Millennials, defined by Pew Research Center as citizens born between 1977 and 1992 (Zickuhr, 2010), fill the entire young voter population and begin to enter the adult voter pool. At the time of the 2016 Presidential
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Less easy to quantify and define, there are studies that show a change in attitudes between this generation and the preceding Generation X, defined by Pew Research Group as citizens born between 1965 and 1976 (Zickuhr, 2010). Millennials in the U.S. coming of age have been faced with numerous challenges, including uncertain presidential election outcomes, terrorist attacks, war under false pretenses, recurring economic downturns resulting in low employment rates, and the No Child Left Behind Act1. In addition to the negative aspects, the Millennials have been raised with a strong work ethic and an understanding of the benefit and necessity of volunteering and being involved in the community (Kiesa et al., 2007). According to a study of focus groups from twelve Universities in U.S. by Kiesa A. et al., these negative and positive influences have significant effects on the attitudes of Millennials towards the government and society as a whole.
This same study shows that due to the push by educators requiring volunteer work and a belief in the need to work in teams, Millennials appear to be more engaged in social issues than Generation X. While this is true, the social issues they engage in are more likely on a local level. There is recognition that organizing a group of people together is the best way affect change, yet, they do not see the significance of their vote. To the Millennials, voting is more often a symbolic