Chuck Todd, the moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press" and a veteran political journalist, has covered seven presidential races, but this one, he told The Daily Pennsylvanian in an interview last week, is "the worst presidential election in my lifetime."
Calling it a "man-made political disaster" and adding that nothing about the election "can be normalized," Todd said the 2016 race was distinctly off-putting for young voters.
Todd began moderating "Meet the Press" in 2014 and also serves as political director for NBC News. On Tuesday night, he will be co-anchoring NBC's coverage of Election Night as well.
“The leaders of the two political parties have not convinced millennials and younger voters of how they can empower themselves in politics," he said. Of voters under 30, a nationwide survey from the Harvard Institute of Politics found close to 50 percent of them will support Clinton, compared to only 21 percent for Trump.
Todd said students, especially those in elite schools like Penn, have largely rejected Trump, citing the experience of his brother-in-law, who is a high school principal in a largely Republican area, as an example.
“All of his most talented students, the AP students, the ones who will go to Penn, they want nothing to do with Trump,” he said. “The anti-intellectualism streak that is sort of a virus inside the Republican party is a turn-off to younger, ambitious, college-going people.”
Todd described the “impatience of millennials,” which may seem like a pejorative but can be a positive way young voters contribute to political discourse. “The impatience and the innovation is something that government needs and politics needs badly,” he said.
As for the close of a wild election season on Nov. 8, Todd compared the role of the American electorate to the federal staffers responsible for disaster relief.
“We are all members of FEMA now on November 9th, and we have all got our share of clean up to do,” he said.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.