The Millennial generation is now the largest living generation. This generation has absorbed many labels, including the one of not being civically engaged. Many news sources focused on their lack of engagement throughout the 2016 election, stating that they were the key to a win in the election. Since Bernie Sanders was the first candidate to capture the attention of such a large amount of the Millennial generation, this research is designed to understand why and provide an in-depth analysis of the thoughts about Sanders from the largest living generation. The data was collected by conducting 15 in-depth interviews with Millennials, ages 18-34, who supported or voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries. During the interviews, they were asked questions about their background, their views on social issues, their thoughts on Bernie Sanders, and where they see the United States political system going forward. The final analysis was conducted using a basic thematic approach, which coded for similarities throughout each interview. After analysis 7 major themes emerged which are as follow, (a) they aren't just engaged, they are passionate, (b) political engagement through technology, (c) lost cause, (d) life experiences, (e) generational differences, (f) authenticity, and (g) all lives matter. The findings indicate that this sample of the Millennial generation is far from unengaged. They are very passionate about the lives of all Americans and Sanders spoke to them at a level in which they felt they could trust him. These findings are important for future researchers who wish to understand Millennials importance in the future of our political system.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Orlando (Main) Campus
Length of Campus-only Access
Fernandez, Jacquelyn R., "What Happened To Sanders? Millennials Analyses of the 2016 Election Post-Primaries" (2017). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 352.