Which Party Will Win the Internet War for Millennials?
In the months leading up to the midterm elections, Republicans and Democrats have a similar goal: get young people to join their ranks.
In the months leading up to the midterm elections, Republicans and Democrats have a similar goal: get young people to join their ranks. The White House wants millennials to sign up for Obamacare, and the GOP wants young people to think that's a very bad idea. Both parties are attempting to get the word out about their common-sense ideas on the Internet. Which leaves us with one of the great political science questions of our time: what resonates with millennials more, twerking GIFs or pleas from guys in hipster glasses?
The latter comes, surprisingly, from the GOP (after all that heckling about "Pajama Boy"). The Republican National Committee released a video on Monday featuring D.C. ballet PR executive Scott Greenberg as himself — a young Republican who thinks President Obama is giving millennials a bad deal with Obamacare. He's dressed in hipster glasses, a leather jacket, and a striped tee (like just about every guy I see on the L train each morning).
"So many people I know are unemployed, and it's like their lives are stuck in neutral. So I get ticked off at politicians who say they want to help the unemployed, and then vote for regulations that make it impossible to hire anyone," he says as he pumps gas into his sedan. This is probably a jab at Obama for pushing to raise the minimum wage. There's another video of Greenberg talking about energy policy and few more featuring other Republicans that are designed appeal specifically to Latinos and women. One features a young woman working in a coffee house who explicitly mentions her "generation." It is not subtle.
Nor is the White House's GIF/sports approach. They created a March Madness bracket where young people can "vote" on what features of Obamacare they like the best. Millennials are encouraged to share their answers on Twitter and Facebook. Each option includes a GIF.
You can pick "birth control is free," with this GIF:
Or "insurance companies can't discriminate" with this one:
Perhaps what's most exciting (or depressing, depending on who you talk to) is the inclusion of this "twerking" "fail" GIF.
After a brief debate online, a White House spokeswoman confirmed that the woman in question is, in fact, twerking.
Judging by Twitter searches, neither the bracket nor the GOP YouTube campaign has been shared at a particularly high rate. The GOP and the Democrats are betting on shareable content to get their messages out — but if millennials see through that ploy immediately and don't share, what's the point?