Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton beat opponent Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucus on Feb. 20, despite Sanders’ huge victory in New Hampshire two weeks ago.
While Clinton won the nomination in Nevada, Sanders has won the consistent vote among young people. In both Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders won 84 and 83 percent of voters aging 17-29 respectively according to the exit polls.
Sanders’ grassroots campaign and ideas seem to appeal millennials, especially liberal college students. Clinton doesn’t fit into the definition of a “democratic socialist,” a term that Sanders defines himself as, even though at times she preaches most of the same ideas Sanders endorses.
She has recently shown her support for LGBTQ rights, taxing corporations and condemning police brutality against African-Americans. Still, as polls show, her message does not seem to be resonating as strongly as Sanders’ with younger people.
Jay Newton-Small of Time magazine told Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, “It’s very hard for a woman to telegraph passion…When Bernie yells, it shows his dedication to the cause. When she yells, it’s interpreted in a very different way: She’s yelling at you.”
Ami Kutzen, junior American studies major and Terps for Hillary member, said that it’s the underlying and inherit sexism from politicians, media and the public that perpetuate the notion that Clinton is “impersonal” or “too stiff.”
She said, “Hillary seems a lot more measured and it’s from an entire life of being a woman and being held to ridiculously high standards.” Kutzen believes that the media focuses on her shortcomings rather than her long list of accomplishments.
Kutzen said that many college students are weary of Clinton because the public has been given misinformation about her and also because Sanders provides an idealistic view of a country that Clinton has had more experience working in.
“She is a little bit more realistic in her views and I think for young people in general, idealism is more attractive – free college and ‘you don’t have to pay for health care’ is attractive.”
Christopher Walkup, co-founder and President of Terps for Bernie, said it is rather each politician’s core beliefs and the history of those beliefs that separates the two candidates.
He said, “I think it gets back to his honesty and consistency – we live in the information age and we can go back and check their record.” Walkup cited Clinton’s 2006 reelection for New York senator when she said that marriage is between a man and a woman while Sanders has been advocating for gay rights for several decades.
Although Walkup is an advocate for Sanders, he does not deny that Clinton is a good candidate and has faced many obstacles as a woman to get to her position.
“It has been very difficult for Clinton and there are certain standards we impose upon her that we don’t upon Sanders … She is not impersonal, bossy or any word that describes blatant misogyny- for the majority of [Bernie supporters] it’s not the way she presents herself but more her substance.”
The next primary is in South Carolina on Feb. 27. Clinton is predicted to win according to recent polling.