In an election cycle marked by unprecedented levels of distrust and dislike for both major-party candidates, 23 percent of millenials are just hoping it all comes to an end.
No, really. According to a recent survey conducted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, nearly one in four voters between the ages of 18 and 35 would prefer a giant meteor striking the planet and the “extinguishing of human life” to the sight of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in the White House.
The poll, which surveyed 1,247 young Americans, also asked respondents to choose between Clinton, Trump, a meteor, a lifelong-term for President Obama and a random lottery of all U.S. citizens. Clinton won the five-outcome race with 33 percent, but a lifetime of Obama garnered 27 percent support, while Trump earned 16 percent and the lottery and meteor tied at 12.
The extinction-level event even won a majority of votes when matched up head-to-head against a Trump presidency, while 34 percent preferred it to Clinton.
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What’s more, the meteor already has started campaigning, in the form or a Twitter and Facebook page for the “Sweet Meteor O’ Death.” The Twitter account has 34,600 followers and has promised to be “tough on Putin & Iran,” per the page’s bio. The meteor also promises to eliminate taxation, the national debt and all human life. It has even produced a campaign ad.
The UMass Lowell poll, however, cautioned that the meteor’s support might not be as widespread as the results make it seem.
“We do not take our respondents at their word that they are earnestly interested in seeing the world end, but we do take their willingness to rank two Constitutional crises and a giant meteor ahead of these two candidates with startlingly frequency as a sign of displeasure and disaffection with the candidates and the election of 2016,” the researchers wrote.
A far more popular option is Obama serving a life term. Millennials preferred that possibility to both Clinton and Trump when paired head-to-head with each.
But when limited to just the two major candidates, millennials overwhelmingly chose Clinton over Trump, 66 percent to 22. Third-party candidates cut into that edge, however, with Trump staying steady at 22 percent, Clinton dropping to 61 percent, Libertarian Gary Johnson getting nine percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein winning five percent.
Among the survey’s respondents, however, only 680 were identified as likely voters. In the final weeks of the campaign, Clinton has ratcheted up her efforts to get out the vote among young people, but according to the poll, many are still cool to her candidacy.