Can Donald Trump Win Over Millennials?

Facing an opponent who has failed to attract the same young Americans who flocked to President Obama in 2008 and 2012, Donald Trump saw an opportunity earlier this month to court disenchanted millennials with a not-so-secret weapon.

To engage youth voters, the Republican presidential nominee released an image of his eldest children — Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric — staring intently into the camera with the hashtag #MillennialsForTrump written beneath on a crisp red, white and blue banner. Within hours, the photograph became an unfortunate Internet meme, evoking comparisons to the 1984 cult film "Children of the Corn" and giving amateur photoshoppers a canvass to play with.

Since that episode, Trump has done little to make inroads with millennials, while Clinton has flung herself at America's youth and deployed high-profile surrogates to lend assistance. But as polls tighten and Clinton's outreach falls flat, Trump could renew his pitch to young voters. If he does, his campaign manager may prove to be a far better weapon than his children.

"Clinton is having a really hard time recreating the Obama coalition especially because of her problems with millennials," said veteran GOP strategist Ford O'Connell. "They're not exactly falling in love with Trump, but he's getting a little bit of a benefit with Stein and Johnson being in the race."

He added, "What's happening with a lot of millennials is the conservative ones are going, 'Screw it. I'm voting Trump,' and the liberal ones are saying, 'Maybe I'm going to take a chance on a third-party candidate."

"The best way either candidate can attract millennials is to have a good debate," said O'Connell. "Sure, Trump is generally doing much better with older voters who have just had it with the current political system … but that doesn't mean he should remove their children from the calculus."

Read more from Gabby Morrongiello at the Washington Examiner

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Analysis & Political Strategy