Why Bernie Sanders Resonates with Young People | WBEZ
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Here and Now

Why Bernie Sanders Resonates With Young People

At this week’s Iowa Democratic caucuses, Bernie Sanders won 84 percent of voters aged 17 to 29, according to entrance polls, compared to Hillary Clinton’s 14 percent.

The Vermont senator has been very popular among young people, for his discussion of student debt, climate change and money in politics.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with an expert and two students about his popularity among young people. Michael McDonald is an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida, and Amanda Studor and Evan Arnold are seniors at Purdue University in Indiana.

Interview Highlights

Michael McDonald on Sanders’ political success.

“Bernie Sanders really attracts a certain kind of voter within the Democratic primary, and those are the purists; the people who really are idealists and believe in the issues very deeply. It’s not surprising that younger people have this pure idea of how politics should actually work.”

Amanda Studor on comparing Sanders to Trump.

“To compare Bernie and Trump, I think the only way they’re comparable is the fact that they’re getting people who wouldn’t normally vote to vote.”

Evan Arnold on the younger generation’s high interest in Sanders.

“Part of the reason, I think, the younger generation is really involved with him and excited about him is because we all are much more integrated with the Internet and that’s where, I think, he’s been talked about the most.”


  • Michael McDonald, associate professor of political science at the University of Florida. He tweets @ElectProject.
  • Amanda Studor, senior at Purdue University.
  • Evan Arnold, senior at Purdue University.
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

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