Macron speaks French rap and ‘Web 3’ to judge the voice of enchanted young people – POLITICO

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PARIS – He has avoided older, traditional media like Le Monde and Libération to talk to “Brut”, “Jeuxvideo.com” and “The Big Whale”, three websites for trendy millennials and PlayStation players.

And on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke on public radio about his soft spot for French rapper Orelsan, known for his sharp social observations, and gave a 45-minute interview to the website “Booska-P”, which claims that be “the reference point for the culture of young urban dwellers.”

In a final touch before Sunday’s presidential election round, Macron – who has a healthy lead in the polls – has gone for the look of a tough, 44-year-old president of his time. But above all, he is making a late push for the youth vote, part of the electorate he has struggled to win over.

Earlier this month, many young people either voted against or voted for the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the first round of the presidential election.

“There is a perception among young people that Macron has not pursued any policy that is in favor of youth,” said Jean-Daniel Lévy, political and polling director at analysis firm Harris Interactive. “They feel he did not embody their concerns for the environment … he did not talk about it, he did not act on it.”

“There is sometimes recognition, but there is no desire for Macron,” Lévy added, calling the president “a young old man.”

Although France is an aging country, there are more than 15 million voters between the ages of 20 and 39, according to the Insee Statistics Institute in Paris. As the campaign has gone on, Macron has given more interviews to businesses for millennials and has visited areas populated by younger voters.

In the northern Paris municipality of Saint-Denis, Macron this week discussed immigration and scarves with a young, diverse and predominantly working-class community that strongly supported Mélenchon in the first round of elections.

On Jeuxvideos.com, one of France’s leading video game sites, the president paid tribute to several French video game developers, including Ubisoft, Quantic Dream and Ankama, noting that “few countries have jewels like we have.”

In “The Big Whale,” a new online platform specializing in blockchains and cryptocurrencies, Macron said Web 3, a new kind of decentralized Internet service, was “an opportunity not to be missed,” describing “esports” or electronic sports, as “another French field of expertise”, referring to e-sports teams such as Team Vitality and Karmine Corp.

In a talk with Booska-P, Macron was asked about police and sexual violence, Islamophobia and job insecurity for younger people.

Despite being associated with the kids and talking rap and technology, Macron has struggled to cut through and appeal to younger voters about their main concerns such as climate change and social inequality.

A recent Ipsos poll showed that nearly half of those between the ages of 18 and 24 and between the ages of 25 and 34 did not vote in the first round of elections on April 10. In the last election, in 2017, more than 25 percent of them voted. between the ages of 25 and 29 failed to cast their votes in either of the two rounds.

In the first round, younger voters flocked to Mélenchon, while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, Macron’s opponent in Sunday’s re-election, won wider support than the president among voters between the ages of 25 and 64.

Mélenchon’s proposal to end nuclear power, industrial agriculture and pesticides struck a special chord among young people, and his defense of a cultural mix among different communities in France resonated with young French immigrants.

The experienced left-wing leader also triumphed in large French suburbs, taking more than 60 percent of the vote in Saint-Denis and 40 percent in the Seine-Saint-Denis department, which has one of the youngest populations in France.

By contrast, Macron’s proposals for climate change do not seem to have convinced younger voters.

Last month, the Action Climate Network, an association of national and local associations defending climate change, released a critical study of Macron’s policy proposals.

“We stand with two people who do not take the climate crisis seriously: Marine Le Pen, for whom it is a non-issue, and Emmanuel Macron, who speaks less about it. [today] than five years ago, ”Camille Etienne, a 23-year-old climate activist, told HuffPost.

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