A millennial that doesn't go to the polls in November might still have a huge influence when it comes to who is elected. Let me explain.
The millennial vote is highly scrutinized, discounted, misunderstood, and often overlooked. Even today experts quick to point out the low percentage increase of millennial voters even for the millennial Super Bowl of voting, Barack Obama's 2008 election.
But what if everyone is using the wrong metrics to understand the impact of this vote? The metrics are old-school, meaning that they only look at actual votes rather than the ability to influence and change behavior. You need both factors in order to get an accurate read of the influence one has on an election.
Call it "the Social Vote," or the ability to swing conversations, trends, beliefs in certain directions based on sheer population-share numbers coupled with the power of digital platforms, and it's a fascinating phenomenon to ponder.
Because we are all so connected today, our culture is continuously shaped and molded online. Online trends -- cultural trends -- can, over time, influence those who actually will trudge out to their local voting or caucus site. And if a millennial influences a non-millennial to vote a certain way via cultural influence on social networks, how is that being measured? It's not and it's happening.
"Groups can, and do, have an impact on the public sentiment around presidential candidates. Millenials certainly can influence the election through social media as the major voting groups (by potential votership) are heavily represented on social," said Nick Brennan, founder and CEO of Watch Social Media, a social media consultancy. "In general, the 30-to-49 year old age group only trails 18-to-29 year olds on major social network usage by a few points per network."