Republican pollster Frank Luntz recently released polling data on what he is calling the “Snapchat Generation,” and it shows that young people are deeply concerned about corruption in America.
“Corruption” is Public Enemy No. 1 to young Americans. They think it’s rampant, from Wall Street to Washington, and this rejection of corruption underlies all of their public policy opinions.”
Luntz defines the “Snapchat Generation” as people age 18-26. When asked to describe America’s problems in one word, 38 percent responded “corruption,” followed by “greed” (29 percent) and “inequality” (26 percent).
While the “Snapchat Generation” has homed in on corruption as America’s top problem, the rest of Luntz’s data shows that this new generation of Americans is incredibly optimistic about the future of the country. An astounding 88 percent say that they are at least “somewhat optimistic” about their own future, and 54 percent say they are “very optimistic”. Sixty-one percent say that America’s best days are ahead of her.
Despite Supreme Court setbacks like McCutcheon and Citizens United, and despite the multibillion dollar price tag on the 2016 election, young Americans are more optimistic than ever that we can improve our democracy and root out corruption. This is a seismic shift. Another recent poll revealed that while 90 percent of Americans think money in politics is a major problem, only 9 percent believe we’ll ever solve it—but that just doesn’t ring true for young Americans.
Combine these stats with the fact that 87 percent of this generation is “likely to vote in the coming Presidential election,” and we’re looking at a powerful voting block that is hungry for money in politics reform. In fact, we’re already seeing it play out in the surprise success of Sen. Bernie Sanders, a candidate that has made campaign finance reform a part of message from day one.
Luntz’s polling data puts a fine point on how important it is for candidates to articulate solutions to money in politics if they hope to win the coveted “youth vote.” The “Snapchat Generation” is ready for a better America, and that means taking on corruption.