On May 3rd, the statewide Ohio primaries were conducted to predict the potential outcome of the November election, cutting down politicians who eventually backed out of the race for Governor or Congress. The primary that harnessed the most attention is the race for Senate, particularly since Republican Senator Rob Portman is retiring. Across the regions of the midwestern state, candidates such as Democrat Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, have won the Primaries for their respective parties and have ultimately sought to realign party lines in their states.
While the primaries are exclusive to only Republican and Democrat registered voters, Generation Z (individuals born from 1997 to 2009) is the largest eligible age group to vote due to their population, with considerable midterm participation rates in recent history. It is quintessential to understand and value the perspective of Generation Z, especially in a purple state and, typically, a swing state in Presidential Elections.
Social media drives the voice and vote of Generation Z, meaning that in order for candidates to succeed and win, they must have a strong, captivating social media presence. The images politicians put out into the world through any online platform is the most important campaigning of all -- the way they utilize it could make or break their chance of winning. This is why Generation Z, known as GenZ, their vote and opinions are undervalued.
Democrat Tim Ryan, a well-liked candidate for Congress, has included many goals in his campaign to help GenZ, including but not limited to attempting to help solve the current climate crisis, infrastructure, the heroin epidemic, and protecting women’s rights. However, he has fallen short when dealing with what is easily the largest issue this generation is facing: the student college debt crisis.
According to the Education Data Initiative Organization, Americans owe a combined total of $1.75 trillion in private or federal loans for tuition. In addition, more than 43 million Americans are impacted by this problem. It is time that politicians fully listen to the demands of Generation Z, especially when it comes to making suggestions on the Senate floor to vote for legislation that could help graduated and current college students who are struggling to afford their higher education. This could be a bipartisan initiative or led by a politician who wants to take a stand and contribute to making a fundamental economic change in this country.
In hindsight, many politicians make significant promises to help solve problems that must be solved, such as the student debt crisis, heated race relations, inequality in quality healthcare, and the growing issue of protests breaking out in the nation’s capital due to Roe v. Wade potentially being overturned, have all influenced politicians from both parties to take sides. Every young voter must make the best-informed decision based on their best interest and the country’s interest.