Updated on September 15 at 5:04 p.m.
Hillary Clinton, the 68-year-old Democratic nominee for president, has a problem with young voters, and she’s turning to the big guns for help: 75-year-old Bernie Sanders and 67-year-old Elizabeth Warren.
The Clinton campaign is sending those two liberal senior citizens on a college tour of Ohio this weekend in a bid to whip up enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket among millennials. The timing of the barnstorming announcement could hardly have been coincidental: In the last day, two major polls have found that more than one-third of voters under the age of 30 plan to vote for either Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson or the Green Party’s Jill Stein instead of either Clinton or Trump in November.
A defection by millennials of that size could be devastating for Clinton; in 2012, President Obama won 60 percent of voters under the age of 30, and the bloc provided a crucial advantage in his four-point victory over Mitt Romney. In a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, Clinton earned support from just 31 percent of voters under the age of 35 in a four-way race. It’s not like millennials are suddenly flocking to Trump. They plainly loathe him. Three in five have a “strongly unfavorable” view of him, three in four say he would divide rather than unite the country, and four in five millennials say Trump is not a candidate they can relate to. So yes, younger voters clearly prefer Clinton to Trump, but what they really want is someone else. Clinton carries that bloc by more than 20 points in a head-to-head matchup, but her support peels away when younger voters are given the option of supporting Johnson or Stein.