5 revelations about the politics of being a millennial.

Elections are getting weirder and weirder, and 2016 is no different. It's a doozy.

You probably already know why. You’ve seen it yourself. From Donald Trump's ... everything to the intense focus on Hillary's emails to Bernie Sanders' eternal sore throat and electro-shock hair, the 14 years this election's seemingly been dragging on for has been full of twists, turns, surprises and off-putting Jim Webb smiles (remember him?).

And like the radiator in an apartment owned by a stingy landlord, it's only barely started heating up.



The ska-band-sized republican field this year. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Just like in 2008, this race will be largely decided by young voters. Young voters who, as a new poll reveals, are pretty much done with the status quo.

A new poll conducted by Rock the Vote and USA Today reveals young voters (the millennial electorate if you will) as concerned, deeply unsatisfied, and detached.

"Millennials, like the general population, are not as enthusiastic about participating in 2016 as this country needs them to be," Ashley Spillane, president of Rock the Vote says, speaking of the poll results showing that about 6 in 10 young people plan to vote in November.

"We as a country have work to do to restore this generation’s faith that not only is voting a way to make a difference, it is THE way and it really does matter."

What or who millennials want to vote for, however, is becoming uncertain and a lot less traditional and predictable.

1. The millennial voter is counterculture and looking to shake things up.

"Millennials, as has historically been the case, lean toward the candidates who have portrayed themselves as counterculture and outside the system," Spillane says.

This is certainly evident in the millennial support for both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Both candidates represent a strong pivot away from politics as usual ... in their own ways of course.

Bernie's support among young voters is huge. Rock the Vote's poll shows him leading Clinton 46% to 35%, and a Quinnipiac University poll shows him beating Trump by 13 points.

Not pictured: That third person. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

For millennial Republicans though, Trump is their guy. Rock the Vote's poll has him leading the Republican field at 26%, which is an easy lead but much lower than his support in the general electorate.

However, "Republican" and "Democrat" might be outdated terms when talking about the largest voting demographic in America.

Because...

2. Millennials do not reliably lean towards one party or the other.

Millennials are largely issues-based voters. They care about the things that directly affect them, and they're willing to cross supposed party lines to address their concerns.

"A huge portion of the millennial generation is not affiliated with either political party, and their attitudes about issues give candidates from all political parties the opportunity to create solutions that address the things millennials care about," Spillane explains.

One of the angry young voters you may see at the polls this November. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

The issues in question are the same ones being discussed nationwide — things like gun control, refugees, and the economy.

But despite these issues being presented as hotly contentious to the general public, for millennials, their minds are pretty much made up:

Photo via Rock the Vote/USA Today. Used with permission.

Other issues that millennials are overwhelmingly concerned about include the legalization of marijuana, which Time reports has 71% support among millennials, and student loan debt, which was their second-ranked concern according to Rock the Vote's poll.

3. The #1 thing millennials are worried about is the economy.

While the presidential candidates and news outlets would have us believe that terrorism is the scariest thing Americans face daily, millennials are far more afraid that they'll be un- or underemployed for extended periods of time.

"The oldest millennials were only 27 years old when the recession began," Spillane explains.

"This means that they have experienced struggles in employment very early on in their careers and that they had to make important decisions about jobs and education during a time of economic uncertainty where opportunities seemed scarce."


Job seekers at a New York City career fair in 2012. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Indeed, a millennial facing the current job market doesn't have it easy.

Despite being the most educated and qualified generation in American history, and despite unemployment being at its lowest since the recession, most young adults struggle to make a paycheck that reflects that, if they have a job at all. That struggle is also multiplied by the most student loan debt in history.

So yeah. You can mark millennials down as "concerned."

4. Despite that economic concern, millennials actually remain pretty optimistic.

57% of the millennials who responded to the poll said they're optimistic about the future of the United States while 34% are not. The other 9% were probably too busy texting or Snapchatting or something.

Millennials recognize that they have the opportunity and responsibility to be the difference they want to see in the world. Despite their attitudes about voting, young people know they have more opportunities than ever to get involved in the issues they care about.

At least do it for the sticker. Photo by Mark Hirsch/Getty Images.

"Young people volunteer at record levels, care deeply about issues, and take actions online and on social media," says Spillane. "Even though young people are frustrated with the state of politics today, we have tools at our disposal to make things better, and that is reason for optimism."

5. Even better — millennials' optimism is well-founded because there are a LOT of them.

As America's largest generation, their numbers alone mean that the issues they care about will be in the conversation. If every millennial voted for the same candidate, that candidate would win in a landslide.

Photo from Rock the Vote, used with permission.

That's why you see Hillary Clinton struggle to "dab" on Ellen. Or Marco Rubio call for a "new generation of leadership" in order to gain young pander-points.

Millennials are the party that will definitively decide the future of this country. So it's important that they, that we, get involved and stay involved.

"Our research shows that when a person votes, they begin to identify themselves as a voter — and that this is habit forming," says Spillane.

It's a good habit to have.

That and — you know — flossing.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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