Candidates court young voters ahead of primary

Florida's presidential primary is Tuesday.
Florida's presidential primary is Tuesday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Candidates on both sides are vying for the support of college students and millennials, who will play a big role in Tuesday's primaries and the general election.

Young people can be very influential in elections, especially now, because they're the largest generation.

“The millennials, the 18- to 34-year-olds, are America's largest generation in history. They're even larger than the Baby Boomers, and it's no surprise that both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, are really trying to reel this young voter in,” University of South Florida political Professor Susan MacManus said.

MacManus said young voters are different, so candidates are using social media and other new tactics to reach them.

“In Florida, so many of them are registered as no party affiliation,” she said.

Students at Florida State College at Jacksonville said Monday that they're focused on the actual candidates and the issues they stand for.

Voters have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the candidates as they've stumped for approval.

But News4Jax political analyst Jennifer Carroll said some candidates seem to stick out for young people.

“Bernie Sanders, he needs to do exactly what he's been doing, because he's getting their hearts, capturing their minds,” Carroll said. “For Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders has made her gravitate more toward the left than she would have liked to.”

Carroll said Donald Trump is huge among millennials.

“Even though he's not necessarily a young, fresh face, like a Marco Rubio is, Donald Trump is really speaking to their hearts, and I think that's why the younger voters are going for him,” Carroll said.

Students at Florida State College at Jacksonville's south campus had some strong opinions Monday about who they want in office and why.

Some students said they would be voting for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton.

But other said they're just tired of how the candidates have been acting

“Honestly, I kind of hate all of them,” student Elizabeth Holland said. “They bicker like children.”

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