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Presidential Hopefuls Exclude Gen Y in White House Race

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 13/10/2015 Kelsey Clark
VOTING © Marilyn Nieves via Getty Images VOTING

The 2016 presidential campaign is one big pregame party to which millennials are not invited.
Invitations were lost in the mail for the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on October 13 and the GOP debate at the University of Colorado Boulder on October 28.
We expect the usual: Scripted responses from our nation's fearless leaders, side jokes about Trump's comb over and a few half-hearted, superficial attempts to appeal to our nation's largest living generation to date: The millennials.
What's missing? Living, breathing, flesh and blood members of Gen Y, who ironically have the ability to determine the 2016 election.
You Can't Sit With Us, Gen Y
This month's "I'm not a regular candidate, I'm a cool candidate!" tactics include co-hosting the Democratic debate with Facebook and tapping Anderson Cooper as moderator. The GOP takes it one step further, hosting their upcoming debate on the college campus at CU Boulder.
When it comes to actually including Gen Y in any meaningful political discourse, however, both parties fail with flying colors.
Between the Democrats hosting their debate at a swanky Las Vegas hotel and casino and the Republicans only allotting 50 some tickets to actual students, Gen Y is all but excluded from the political conversations that actually matter. Again.
"It really feels like they don't feel like our vote or input is important at all," says University of Colorado student William Raley in an interview with USA Today. "It's almost that they're like 'This is a private event, it doesn't concern you.'"
Apparently, the highly sought-after millennial vote can be secured through the flash of a Facebook logo, Snapchat campaign advertising and Twitter-based bid announcements. Never mind the political and economic concerns of America's most indebted, underemployed and influential generation.
Strength in Numbers
It's not like we can single-handedly determine the outcome of the 2016 election or anything.
Just look at the 2012 election. Mitt Romney could've easily been victorious had he managed to even split the youth vote with Barack Obama, according to Politico.
In the end, roughly 23 million millennial voters secured Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio for President Obama, earning him a decisive 67 percent of the youth vote and a second term in the White House.
By 2016, millennials should be about 36 percent of eligible voters and roughly a third of actual voters, according to Think Progress. What's more, a shocking 77 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds are "absolutely certain" or "very likely" to vote in 2016, according to Fusion's Massive Millennial Poll.
Our undeniable influence, not to mention our personal stake in economic policy thanks to the student debt crisis and our higher education system, should at least secure us a seat at the 2016 presidential debates.
This post originally appeared on in October 2015.

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