New polls released this week suggests Hillary Clinton has a growing problem with millennial voters and that's a major concern for the Democratic presidential nominee.
Both national polls and surveys in swing states show Clinton has seen a slide with voters younger than 35, particularly when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are factored in.
A national Quinnipiac poll showed Clinton capturing 31% of the vote among voters 18-to-34 years of age and a slim 5-point lead over Trump. In August Clinton had 48% of that vote and a 24-point lead over Trump.
A Fox News poll of the national electorate showed Clinton winning 37% of the youth vote and leading Donald Trump by 9 points. In August, the poll showed her support at 39% and leading Trump by 8 points.
In Ohio, a CBS/YouGov poll showed Clinton doing better with voters under 30, winning 51% of them and holding 32-point lead on Trump. But that number was down from August when Clinton won 57% of that vote and a held a 38-point lead.
A Detroit Free Press poll in Michigan showed a big dip among voters under 35. In the new poll she has 31% of that vote and a 7-point lead over Trump. In August she had 44% of that vote and a 24-point lead.
The lower numbers are a big problem for Clinton because Democrats need a lot of votes from the younger part of the electorate to offset losses they normally get with older voters. Consider 2012 when Millennials gave President Barack Obama his biggest numbers by far. He captured 60% of the under-30 vote in the national electorate, compared to just 37% that went for GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama did even better with that age group in Michigan and Ohio with 63% of the under-30 vote.
It's an issue Obama himself addressed in his campaign appearance in Philadelphia last Tuesday. In trying to rally the coalition that elected him twice to get enthusiastic about backing Clinton, the president took a moment to address young voters:
"And the young people who are here, who all you've been seeing is just the nonsense that's been on TV, you maybe don't remember all the work that she has had to do and all the things she has had to overcome and all the good that has happened because of her efforts. But you need to remember. ... She's in the arena and you can't leave her in there by herself, you've to get in there with her. You can't stay home because, you know, she's been around for a long time. Well you know what? This is not reality TV. Democracy is not a spectator sport. You don't Tweet in your vote."
First Lady Michelle Obama also hit the campaign trail last week, speaking at a rally at George Mason University in Virginia. "Let's be clear, elections are not just about who votes, but who does not vote," she told the students. "And that is especially true for young people, like all of you. In fact, in 2012, voters under the age of 30 provided the margin of victory for Barack in four key battleground states."
So where is Clinton's Millennial vote going? It depends on the poll you examine. Some of it is going to Trump and some to the undecided or "other" categories. But third party candidates seem to be playing an outsized role in 2016.
In the national Fox News and Ohio state polls. Libertarian Gary Johnson has seen small increases among Millennials since August, 2 points and 5 points respectively. In those polls Johnson sits at about 17% of the vote.
PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign
Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign
Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a campaign rally at City Garage April 10, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. Voters will head to polling places for Maryland's presidential primary April 26. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton laughs as she listens to Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) speak on a gun control panel in Port Washington, New York April 11, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a Latino organizing event on April 9, 2016 while campaigning in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. The New York Democratic primary is scheduled for April 19th. (Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)
SPRINGFIELD, MA - FEBRUARY 29: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a 'Get Out The Vote' rally at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History on February 29, 2016 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Massachusetts and Virginia ahead of Super Tuesday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at the Old South Meeting Hall during a rally in Boston, Massachusetts on Monday February 29, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 01: Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets patrons at Mapps Coffee on March 1, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Minnesota as Super Tuesday voting takes place in 12 states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MOUNT VERNON, IOWA - OCTOBER 7: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to voters during an outdoor town hall meeting at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa on Wednesday October 7, 2015. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MUSCATINE, IOWA - OCTOBER 6: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a voter before leaving a farm in Muscatine, Iowa on Tuesday October 6, 2015. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - OCTOBER 05: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a town hall meeting at the Manchester Community College on October 5, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Clinton spoke about the need for gun control on the wake of a mass shooting at another community college in Oregon. (Photo by Alfredo Sosa/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
DAVIE, FL - OCTOBER 02: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about gun control during her campaign stop at the Broward College Ã Hugh Adams Central Campus on October 2, 2015 in Davie, Florida. Hillary Clinton continues to campaign for the nomination of the Democratic Party as their presidential candidate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 19: Hillary Clinton attends the Phoenix Awards Dinner at the 45th Annual Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Conference at Walter E. Washington Convention Center on September 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - SEPTEMBER 19: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claps on stage during the New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention at the Verizon Wireless Center on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Challenger for the democratic vote Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been gaining ground on Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, ME - SEPTEMBER 18: Hillary Clinton brings her Democratic presidential campaign to Maine for the first time, speaking at King Middle School. Clinton is welcomed as she is introduced at the event. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - SEPTEMBER 7: Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton takes time to meet supporters and take photos at the Annual Hawkeye Labor Council AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic on September 7, 2015 at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Clinton spent a busy Labor Day weekend in Iowa, meeting supporters throughout the state while trying to maintain a lead over Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes part in a discussion after speaking about the Iran nuclear deal at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, on September 9, 2015. Clinton expressed firm support for the nuclear accord with Iran, calling it flawed but still strong. Clinton added that the agreement must be strictly enforced and said that if elected president next year, she would not hesitate to use military force if Iran fails to live up to its word and tries to develop a bomb. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
PORTSMOUTH, NH - SEPTEMBER 5: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen take an off the schedule stop in the River Run Bookstore before shaking hands with onlookers on September 5, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PORTSMOUTH, NH - SEPTEMBER 5: Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton receives an endorsement from U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) September 5, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Clinton attended a Women for Hillary event at Portsmouth High School. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
PORTSMOUTH, NH - SEPTEMBER 5: Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walks downtown Portsmouth and takes pictures with people September 5, 2015 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Clinton attended a Women for Hillary event at Portsmouth High School earlier in the day and received an endorsement from U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 18: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answers questions from journalists after speaking to north Las Vegas voters at a town hall meeting in Las Vegas, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. The former Secretary was answering questions about emails sent and received a private server system, now in question, while she was the Secretary of State. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - August 15: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton greets fairgoers as she tours the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, August 15, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
CARROLL, IA - JULY 26: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to guests gathered for a house party on July 26, 2015 in Carroll, Iowa. Although Clinton leads all other Democratic contenders, a recent poll had her trailing several of the Republican candidates in Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 20: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives for a meeting with parents and child care workers at the Center for New Horizons on May 20, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Clinton arrived in Chicago after campaigning Monday and Tuesday in Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 05: Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) poses with students and faculty after speaking at Rancho High School on May 5, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Clinton said that any immigration reform would need to include a path to 'full and equal citizenship.' (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attend the 2015 DVF Awards at United Nations on April 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University April 29, 2015 in New York City. Clinton addressed the unrest in Baltimore, called for police body cameras and a reform to sentencing. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton announced her campaign for president on Sunday April, 12, 2015 with a video on YouTube.
(Screenshot from YouTube)
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In the national Quinnipiac and Michigan state polls, the Johnson gains among young voters are much more substantial, 13 points and 14 points respectively. He's now garnering about a quarter of the vote in those polls.
In a close election those could be big numbers and they say a lot about the 2016 campaign. In a year full of strange wrinkles in the campaign, Mr. Johnson is not new. He ran in 2012 as well, as did Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but with very small impacts.
In 2012 the Johnson and Stein together garnered about 1.5% of the vote. Even among voters under the age of 30 they didn't rack up big numbers. Exit polls show that Mr. Obama and Republican Mitt Romney together captured 97% of the 29-and-younger vote. That means Johnson, Stein and all other votes were a mere 3% of the younger voter tally.
But as the poll numbers above show, 2016 may be shaping up to be very different.
The question behind Clinton's millennial dip is whether it represents a moment in time or a new norm. If the presidential race stays close, will younger voters decide to vote for one of the two major party candidates, go with a third-party option or stay home?
On that point, some of the key locales to watch in the coming months are communities with large pockets of Millennial voters, the nation's college counties. Think of Dane County, Wisconsin, and Washtenaw County Michigan, the homes of the Universities of Wisconsin and Michigan respectively.
It's fall, classes are back in session and the poll numbers suggest Clinton and other campaign surrogates may be logging some campus time in the coming weeks.