“Having exhausted a number of storylines blaming others for Trump’s victory, the consulting class in Washington, D.C., is now pointing a finger at millennial voters.
‘That’s why we lost,’ Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook recently pronounced at Harvard’s Institute of Politics during a campaign manager event in which he blamed young voters for supporting third party candidates. Similarly, founder of Media Matters for America David Brock expressed his anger at the ‘disaffected millennials who sat on their hands in the most consequential election of our lives’ during the first major gathering of Democratic Party lawmakers since the election, which took place earlier this week.
But while Mook and Brock tried to make millennials the scapegoat for Trump’s victory, neither explained the full story. Here is why they are wrong.
First, it seemed from the outside as though the campaign took young voters for granted. After the Democratic primary ended, I spoke to Clinton’s campaign and a number of their key independent partners about the need to reboot their young voter strategy. My team offered to help — just like Hillary Clinton’s team helped then-Sen. Barack Obama after he won their primary in 2008. In reaching out, we met with some of Clinton’s biggest Super PAC donors, spoke with the campaign’s lawyers and also reached out to Mook, adviser Joel Benenson and others. While I’m not a millennial, my firm Revolution Messaging specializes in youth voter outreach and helped Bernie Sanders win a record share of youth votes in the primary — more than Clinton and Trump combined. I also ran social media, developed young voter materials and assisted with artist and musician outreach for President Obama’s record-breaking 2008 campaign. So I was surprised, and very concerned, when Clinton’s campaign and their independent coalition leaders all brushed me off. Her team seemed to care little about learning from Sen. Sanders’ successes and about how his tactics could be used in the general election.”