A New Problem For Hillary Emerges

With Trump again surging in the polls, including key battleground states like Ohio, and having regained all the momentum from a suddenly slumping and vulnerable Hillary, the Democrats are panicking as her lead in the RealClearPolitics average has shrunk to just 1 points.


However, as the latest set of polls shows, the Donald is not the only thing Hillary's campaign has to worry about as a new threat has emerged. Or rather two.

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that is Clinton suffering thanks to third-party nominees Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, whose support has soared among millennial voters. In that poll, Clinton leads Trump by 48% to 43% in a two-way match-up. Her head to head lead is particularly pronounced among voters aged 18-34, who pick Clinton over Trump by a margin of 55% to 34%.

But when Johnson and Stein are included in the survey, Clinton's lead over Trump falls to just 2%, or 41% to 39%, with Johnson at 13% and Stein at 4%.

This is the result of a steep drop-off of voters aged 18-34, who in a four-way race only give Clinton 31%. Johnson - who may not know what an Aleppo is, but sure knows what a tiebreaker may be - is in second among voters aged 18-34 with 29%, Trump third with 26% and Stein fourth with 15%.

A NYT/CBS News-New York Times poll released on Thursday morning showed a similar result, with libertarian Gary Johnson getting 26% of the support among Millennial voters, aged 18 to 29, and Stein nabbing 10%.

It remains to be seen if the recent surge in Millennial support for 3rd party candidates will stick. In an interview with Mic, Stu Rothenberg, a non-partisan political analyst, said that "we'll have to see whether this is a function of voters in early September saying, 'I'm going to vote for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein,' or whether this is a true commitment to those candidates. It's really easy to say you're going to vote for a third-party candidate a week after Labor Day, but once you get to Oct. 15 and say my vote is going to determine who's president, things could change."

For now however, when shifting away from her core demographics of minorities such as Hispanics and Blacks, Hillary suddenly has a problem communicating with the one age group she was supposed to carry without much of a problem. Indeed, if millennial voters do drop off significantly, either voting third-party or not showing up at all, that could wound Clinton.  Younger voters were a primary voting bloc for President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012.

While Trump has largely ignored America's yougn adults, Clinton has made millennial outreach a core focus of her campaign, emphasizing her college affordability plan, promising student loan forgiveness, and dispatching Bernie Sanders, who galvanized millennial voters in the primaries.

"The way for Trump to win is relatively strong white turnout for Trump and lower turnout among Latinos, African-Americans and 18-29 year-olds for Clinton," Rothenberg said.

Indeed, and if America's Millennials have finally gotten disenchanted with Hillary, whether due to her conflicts of interest, her questionable honesty or even her health, then Trump's victory may be much closer than many expect. For now, however, Hillary has a big problem, and how she addresses it could mean the difference between victory and defeat on November 8.