As has been well covered by now, Hillary Clinton has something of a millennial problem. It’s not that she’s losing the 18-to-34 demo to Trump; it’s that she’s not on pace to win it by as large a margin as President Obama did during the past two elections. As Slate’s Jim Newell has explained, a lot of that has to do with the perception that Clinton’s not particularly trustworthy. But a new Gallup poll released earlier this week helpfully illustrates that problem at the issue level. Behold, the one and only issue of the 17 surveyed that the under-35 set prefers Trump to Clinton on: regulating Wall Street.
On it’s face, that is mind-boggling. Trump, after all, is pretty much the anti-regulation poster boy. He’s on record calling for an indefinite moratorium for any new financial regulations until the economy shows “significant growth,” a threshold that his campaign has conveniently never defined. He has also promised he’d repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which among myriad other things would shutter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that was the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren. And he has likewise vowed to abolish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Simply put: Donald Trump’s plan to regulate Wall Street and Big Business is to regulate it less than it is now, and far less than Hillary Clinton has promised to do.
Millennials, most of whom skew progressive, are either unaware of that fact or, far more likely, simply don’t trust Clinton to deliver on her promises after Bernie Sanders spent so much of the Democratic primary attacking her for her ties to Wall Street and the millions of dollars she and her husband made giving closed-door speeches to financial firms. The Wall Street question Team Hillary needs millennials to ask themselves, then, is what’s worse: a President Clinton who doesn’t deliver on all of her promises, or a President Trump who follows through on his?