The United States has long been characterized as an optimistic country, but the toxic 2016 election has soured voters of all ages.
In fact, according to a new poll, many young people say they would rather see the Earth destroyed by a giant meteor rather than have Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton become president.
The seemingly shocking opinion was discovered in a recent University of Massachusetts-Lowell Center for Public Opinion survey conducted in partnership with Odyssey Millennials, a social media platform aimed at millennials.
Nearly a quarter of the 1,247 young people aged 18-35 who were polled preferred a life-extinguishing meteor over either presidential candidate.
But that was not the only stunning finding.
Nearly 4 in 10 respondents said they would rather see President Barack Obama make himself president for life. And on another question, 26 percent said they’d rather see the next president selected randomly.
But before you get too down about what millennials think, Joshua Dyck, the co-director of UMass-Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion, suggests they may have not been completely truthful.
“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,” he said.
Putting the unlikely outcomes aside, when asked whom they’d choose for president, the respondents were for Clinton by a 2-to-1 margin.
The attitudes expressed by young people were in stark contrast to the 2008 election in which young people helped elect Obama.
The poll was conducted earlier this month, and Dyck says a large number of respondents said they were unlikely to vote. The margin of error was 3.2 percentage points.