Why Millennials Are Flocking To Bernie Sanders

Photographed by Amy Lombard
While no candidate has yet fully won over the millennial woman vote, it appears that Bernie Sanders has an edge.

He outperformed rival Hillary Clinton among millennials as a whole in early states, like New Hampshire and Iowa, and has been riding a wave of support with recent primary wins. He also led the field in our new Refinery29/ABC News Vote Your Values poll, winning support from 35% of women 18 to 35. And it's clear that they think the stakes are high: 78% of women polled overall believe the outcome of this election will impact their lives.

Supporters, including many in their 20s and even teens, filled New York City's Washington Square Park to hear the Vermont senator speak on Wednesday — the Sanders campaign estimated that 27,000 people were in attendance. The rally came less than a week before Sanders and rival Hillary Clinton go head-to-head in the New York primary.

Refinery29 joined the masses to speak to young Sanders fans about why he's won their support, and what issues matter most to them this election. Ahead, they express their views in their own words.

For more on the issues that matter most to millennial women, check out the Vote Your Values poll results here.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
"He stands up for what he believes in. For example, he stood up for gay rights in 1993, whereas [Clinton] waited a bit. It might have been [for] political reasons, but I'm from New York and I believe you should stand up for what you believe in no matter what, even if it makes people uncomfortable.
— Jessica Siniscalchi, 26, on why she supports Sanders.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
"First and foremost, I am an activist for Black rights and I think Bernie Sanders is the candidate who can truly end the problems the Black community is facing…He is listening to the young people and he will create policies to reform and change the Black community for the better, [addressing issues like] access to health care, mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and poverty as a whole."
— Mirielle Wright, 17 (left), on why she supports Sanders

"I just think Bernie's amazing. He's for the people. We don't have a lot of people like that. He's clearly for everyone."
— Trin B., 16 (right), on why she supports Sanders.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
"[Obama] was never the shining knight to protect the people, to break up the banks, or do the other change that was needed. But Bernie presents a real opportunity. He is the man that I feel like could end corporate welfare, he's the man that I feel like could break up massive corporations, he's the one that could end massive campaign donations."
— Olivier Plummer, 18, on why he thinks Sanders is the real change candidate.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
Crowds of supporters wait for Sanders to speak. An estimated 27,000 people filled the park in the heart of the New York University campus.
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"He has so many ideas that I believe in, that will apply to me when I am older, like free college and cheaper health care...things that, when I'm older, I want that to be the world that I can vote in."
— Celine Rogers, 14, second from left, on why she supports Sanders.
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"He's been consistent in his views and he's been a lot more progressive than Hillary has been. I agree with a lot of things he says. What people don't really understand is the ideas — maybe they can't be implemented necessarily now, or necessarily in one term, but they're bringing us towards a more progressive America."
— Isabela Fonseca, 22, on why she supports Sanders.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
"I think it's extremely important for a woman to have the right to do what she wants to do. Men can't have babies, obviously, so why should they be able to tell us when we can or cannot have a child. We should have that right.
— Danasia Hicklin, 18 (left), on what's at stake in this election.

"I think, just thinking about the fact that it's 2016 and there's still such a huge gap between wages — it's ridiculous. We should reach the point where we recognize that everyone's wage is equal."
— Jaunit Rodriguez, 18 (right), on why Sanders' calls for economic equality matter to her.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
Even stormtroopers were in the pro-Sanders camp at Wednesday's rally. Featured guests on stage included Vampire Weekend and actor Tim Robbins.
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"He's the only political candidate who has even bothered telling us the truth. Who is actually listening to what the people are saying instead of funding their money into media."
— Darby Harmon, 23, on why she supports Sanders.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
A supporter holds a Bernie Sanders face sign. Presidential candidates on both sides of the race have been campaigning in New York ahead of the state's April 19 primary.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
"He's the only non-corrupt person who can fix this wage gap in between upper class and lower class. Equality is a big thing and right now I'm embarrassed to be American, when Donald Trump is doing so well in this primary. It scares me to death. All men and women are equal!"
— Solomon Bergwerk, 18, on why he supports Sanders.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
Supporters hold signs as they wait for Sanders to take the stage.
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Photographed by Amy Lombard
"If the GOP wins, there's a really big chance that I will lose a lot of rights to my body, and being queer means also I would lose a lot of rights concerning my sexuality and spaces I'd be allowed in."
— Ana Lopes, 20 (right), on how this election could impact her life.

"Those who show up get their voices heard."
— Sam Soon, 19 (left), on why it's so important for millennials to vote.

For more on the issues that matter most to millennial women, check out the Refinery29/ABC News Vote Your Values Poll here.
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