Do they mean it? Probably not, although these days, who can be sure.
But the results speak volumes about young Americans’ disgust with the 2016 election.
A meteor is nothing more than a fragment from an astroid or meteoroid that enters Earth’s atmosphere. Meteorite is the name given to pieces that survive and strike the ground.
The chance that a “giant meteor strikes the earth and extinguishes all human life” is, well, nonexistent. Nonetheless, it’s an impossible scenario many said they’d support.
The national poll, conducted Oct. 10-13 by the University of Massachusetts-Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion and Odyssey, surveyed 1,247 American adults ages 18-35 about the upcoming election.
More than half ― 55 percent ― said they’d take a meteor strike over a victory by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. In comparison, 34 percent prefer the doomsday scenario over a win by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“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 startling frequency as a sign of displeasure and disaffection with the candidates and the 2016 election,” Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, said in a statement.
The tongue-in-cheek survey also gave participants other outrageous options even less likely than a fiery meteor strike.
Thirty-nine percent said they prefer President Barack Obama appointing himself to a life term in the White House over a Trump or Clinton presidency, according to the findings. And 26 percent favor the next president be chosen via a random lottery.
Meteors, an Obama kingship and lotteries aside, young voters overwhelmingly support Clinton over Trump. In a head-to-head race, 66 percent said they’d vote for Clinton, while 22 percent support Trump and 12 percent were undecided.
When third-party candidates were included, Clinton received 61 percent of the support to Trump’s 22 percent, while libertarian nominee Gary Johnson received 9 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 5 percent, according to the findings.
Trump’s favorability among millennials is atrocious. He is viewed positively by only 25 percent of those surveyed, while 72 percent view him unfavorably. Comparatively, 56 percent of those polled said they view Clinton favorably.
Two-thirds of all millennials, including one-third of Republicans, said they think Trump should drop out of the presidential race.
The margin by which Clinton is beating Trump among millennials should no doubt rattle the GOP, according to Michael Luciano, director of editorial innovation for Odyssey.
“As the largest demographic in the country, millennials are going to play an increasingly bigger role in elections in the coming years,” he said in a statement. “If Republicans want to be competitive in future presidential races, they need to reverse what they should consider a troubling trend among the millennial generation.”
This article has been updated to include the definition of meteor and to note the impossibility of a meteor striking Earth.