- 25 Aug 16
"We're approaching things a little differently," says Gary Johnson in an introductory video to his campaign. A little differently indeed. Johnson has held a Q&A with voters on Reddit, crowdsurfed at rallies, and - in a CNN article entitled "Why I'm running for president" - bragged about climbing Mount Everest. Johnson is something that neither Trump nor Clinton are: he's cool, and for some young voters, that matters.
It's no secret that Bernie Sanders dominated among millennial voters. He came off as pure; an outsider, anti-establishment, and, crucially, in touch. Clinton, meanwhile, tried to appear hip by going on daytime television and doing the whip. After all, nothing says "with it" like stopping by Ellen and jamming out to Silento.
Sanders, unlike Clinton, was a master of branding, both of himself and of his opponents. He quickly broke from his promise to run a positive campaign, making Clinton's alleged Wall Street ties undeniably central to his message. Combined with Republican attacks, the brand stuck: Crooked Hillary was born. I talk about Sanders in the past tense as he no longer has a chance at the White House. But many of his supporters can't let go. They can't vote Trump; that much is clear. But after being told for months by their hero that Clinton is in the pocket of Wall Street, it understandably creates a sense of vertigo to hear him say they must support her. The reason he gives? #NeverTrump. Clinton and Trump have become entwined to these millennial voters, both just another continuation of establishment politics. Sanders told them to change the system, and now it's time.