AUGUSTA, Ga. – Political news on social media and other online sources could play a big role in the 2016 presidential elections as tech-savvy millennials outnumber baby boomers for the first time.
People born between 1982 and 2000 are the most populous generation in the country this year, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. A total of 83.1 million Americans are millennials compared to 75.4 million baby boomers, those born in 1946 through 1964.
Also, 74 percent of the news the tech-savvy generation consumes comes from online sources, according to a recent research by Media Insight Project. About 6 in 10 millennials get their political news from Facebook, according to a Pew Research Center report released in June.
“Millennials know how to use social networking applications better than baby boomers,” said Dr. Craig Albert, assistant professor of political science at Georgia Regents University. “They have a different type of access to information, and that tends to affect whether or not they are going to vote. This could also affect how they vote if they go out to vote. ”
With online sources becoming more important for political news, Albert recommends five websites where voters can get reliable information on political issues and the 2016 presidential candidates:
- Real Clear Politics: Voters who want to know which presidential candidate is leading on the latest polls should use this website. Surveys come from different states and from different polling institutions. Some of the polls even pit Democratic candidates against GOP contenders.
- Ballotpedia: As a nonpartisan political website, Ballotpedia offers information on all Democratic and Republican candidates, including their policy on a wide range of issues such as taxes, health care, education and immigration. Voters can also find out which politicians may join the race and which ones declined to run. Ballotpedia also has information on upcoming presidential debates.
- Politico: Although Politico has a liberal agenda, it is a reliable source of political news. As long as voters know the website leans Democrat, they can enjoy a wide range of news including foreign affairs, environmental policy and even political scandals.
- Conservative Review: This website is for voters who want to learn more about the Republican presidential candidates. Voters can read about the views that candidates have on issues such as government spending, civil liberties and education. The website also grades candidates on how conservative they are on those issues.
- 270 to Win: This website, which is also an app, is useful on election day as it shows how many electoral college votes each state has, how many states and electoral college votes a candidate needs to win and which candidate is likely to win each state and overall. Voters can also play with an interactive map and create their own 2016 election forecast.