Between the declining homeownership rate and the lively (to say the least) political climate, renters are expected to make their voices heard in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The Wall Street Journal, taking into account analysis of U.S. Census data by rental listing site Apartment List, writes that as many as one-third of the total ballots cast could come from renters. Another projection says that 25 percent of votes could come from the group.
Renters tend to vote in smaller numbers than homeowners because their housing situations are more fluid, so they feel less connected to their community. Also, renters skew younger, and younger age groups vote less frequently.
There are good reasons why policy makers have focused on encouraging home ownership. Historically, owning a home has been the best way for middle-class families to build wealth and save for retirement. But affordable-housing advocates argue that has come at the expense of ignoring a growing rental crisis.
“You notice in [Hillary] Clinton and [Donald] Trump’s stump speeches, they don’t talk about renters very much. Everyone talks about the American dream and home ownership,” said Andrew Woo, director of data science at Apartment List.