In the midsts of the 2018 midterm elections, President Trump doubled down on the restrictive immigration positions and rhetoric that fueled his 2016 presidential campaign. The last few weeks, before the midterms, he repeatedly warned American voters about the migrant “invasion” caravan headed to the United States from Central America, and advocated for the repeal of birthright citizenship. By using the same vitriol against immigrants, Trump hoped to mobilize Republican voters, thereby helping to elect Republican candidates and keep Republican control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Especially in the Senate, this tactic may have helped Republicans gain two seats.
In the long term this tactic didn’t turn out the way he had hoped for, his ant-immigration and rhetoric alienated a huge voter bloc, known as Millennials and ended up backfiring on the Republican Party, losing control of the House of Representatives. And now in the up-coming 2020 elections Mr. Trump feels threatened to lose the Senate and Presidency.
The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 1997, is the largest and most diverse adult cohort. According to research, “almost 7 in 10 voters (67 percent) ages 18 to 29, and nearly 6 in 10 (58 percent) of those ages 30 to 44, supported Democratic candidates.” That’s mostly the millennial generation. “Researchers who study party identification suggest that it’s ‘sticky’ — that the party you vote for in your first few elections tends to harden and become your party for life.” And while a number of issues probably contributed to their votes, their liberal attitudes on immigration and other issues may be important. Thus the reason why the Republican Party to many millennials may seem like they are out of touch with reality.
Social Science Behind the Facts.
A voting bloc is “a group of voters that are strongly motivated by a specific common concern or group of concerns to the point that such specific concerns tend to dominate their voting patterns, causing them to vote together in elections.” The millennial generation is the most diverse adult generation currently in the history of the U.S. Hispanics alone make up 21 percent of all U.S. millennials.
Identity Politics or Political identities play a major role in how the millennial generation is driven and how they choose to vote. And this is why—the political approach and analysis based on how millennials prioritize their most relevant concerns or issues to their particular individual identities such as, racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, social, cultural, etc.,.
These factors or identities is what played a major role in the 2018 midterm elections. As discussed earlier millennials tend to be more diverse and liberal than any other generation currently in the history of the U.S. This voting bloc, overall has a liberal view on immigration and their political identities seek candidates who will side with their views.
We all have a multitude of identities and we use those identities to our advantage. When it comes to identity politics, we mostly think about how do “we present ourselves and how do we navigate with the expectations people have of us according to the scenario we’re in.” This applies to everyone, from voter to the person running for office.
When we talk about identities we talk about social cleavages different identities basically or cross cutting (identities we share or trying to identify with) it’s part of our socialization.
Socialization, “the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society. Socialization encompasses both learning and teaching and is thus ‘the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained’. Socialization is strongly connected to developmental psychology.”
There are various agents of socialization that millennials and voters in general are affected by:
The normative statement is how we think the world should be. In this case how millennials think the world should be under the Trump administration. Due to their more liberal tendencies and identity politics, millennials tend to seek social justices when it comes to find a political affiliation. We saw the effect of this in the outcome of the 2018 elections. It's interesting how a simple normative belief can shape the world and how the descriptive things we see explain the world.
Other agents of socialization that accompany the previous mentioned, are active and passive agents. They are the ideas that people around us tells us what it means to be a man or woman, what is right and what is wrong and the penalties that exist if we violate them. We experience socialization is both active and passive.
The final fact I’d like to mention in this review is the impact of what the political representation had on the millennial vote during the 2018 midterms elections. Aside from being on the same page of the criticisms behind Trump’s double down on immigration policies, these midterm elections brought out many candidates, specifically on the Democratic Party, that mirrored millennial’s identity politics and their agents of socialization.
During the midterms many women and women of color ran for office and ended up winning the elections. Known as the “squad,” Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib, are the new face of the new political world. These congresswomen are what drove millennials to vote they way they did. Millennials’s elected representatives that mirrored their political identities and agents of socialization.
The symbolic representation of having women of color who share ideals as millennials is what gave the victory to the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. And for now it seems like this millennials will play an even major role in the coming 2020 presidential elections.