Race to 2016
electioneering explainer danny cevallos orig_00001425.jpg
electioneering explainer danny cevallos orig_00001425.jpg
Now playing
01:13
States can actually limit free speech on Election Day
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at University of New Hampshire on September 28, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a campaign rally with democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at University of New Hampshire on September 28, 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire.
Now playing
03:00
Remembering the campaigns we lost
Getty Images
Now playing
02:10
They made it to the White House despite scandals
history of the october surprise foreman ac pkg_00005811.jpg
Getty Images
history of the october surprise foreman ac pkg_00005811.jpg
Now playing
02:14
The history of the October surprise
Now playing
04:02
36 years of election nights on CNN
Now playing
01:15
Watch 10 elections get called on CNN in one minute
hillary clinton rally daytona beach fbi investigation sot_00002801.jpg
CNN
hillary clinton rally daytona beach fbi investigation sot_00002801.jpg
Now playing
00:57
Clinton calls FBI director's actions unprecedented
trump voter id podesta fact check origwx bw_00004624.jpg
trump voter id podesta fact check origwx bw_00004624.jpg
Now playing
02:16
Fact check: Trump on undocumented immigrants and voting
hillary clinton rally time lapse origwx bw_00004417.jpg
hillary clinton rally time lapse origwx bw_00004417.jpg
Now playing
01:21
Hillary Clinton's historic night in time-lapse
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23:  Anthony Weiner, a leading candidate for New York City mayor, stands with his wife Huma Abedin during a press conference on July 23, 2013 in New York City. Weiner addressed news of new allegations that he engaged in lewd online conversations with a woman after he resigned from Congress for similar previous incidents.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Anthony Weiner, a leading candidate for New York City mayor, stands with his wife Huma Abedin during a press conference on July 23, 2013 in New York City. Weiner addressed news of new allegations that he engaged in lewd online conversations with a woman after he resigned from Congress for similar previous incidents. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:01
Clinton's history with Anthony Weiner
Many North Carolina voters remain undecided in upcoming presidential election_00001405.jpg
CNN
Many North Carolina voters remain undecided in upcoming presidential election_00001405.jpg
Now playing
02:15
Some North Carolina voters hesitant to pick a candidate
joe biden hillary clinton election intv sot smerconish _00000000.jpg
CNN
joe biden hillary clinton election intv sot smerconish _00000000.jpg
Now playing
00:46
Biden: I thought I could beat Hillary Clinton
cnnee pkg rodriguez clinton global iniciative hillary emails_00002301.jpg
cnnee pkg rodriguez clinton global iniciative hillary emails_00002301.jpg
Now playing
02:47
Hillary Clinton's explanations of her email saga
The Guardian
Now playing
01:17
Gary Johnson snaps at reporter
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Vice President Joe Biden acknowledge the crowd at Riverfront Sports athletic facility on August 15, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Mark Makela/Getty Images North America
Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and US Vice President Joe Biden acknowledge the crowd at Riverfront Sports athletic facility on August 15, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Now playing
01:26
Biden on Clinton's Secretary of State list?
Washington CNN —  

Donald Trump is, in turns, an angry bomb-dropper, an emotional reactionary and an embarrassing jokester. Hillary Clinton is offensive and out of touch to some, and a return to the prosperity of the 1990’s to others.

Those are some of the findings of a new focus groups of millennials commissioned by The HLN Millennials Project. HLN is a sister network of CNN. The project interviewed groups of likely voters without strong party allegiances aged between 18 and 34 – 10 who lean toward the Republican Party and 10 who lean toward the Democratic Party – in three swing-state cities: Columbus, Ohio, Orlando, Florida and Denver, Colorado.

Much of the discussion was not about presidential candidates, though. For example, there is the finding that most of these people on both sides think the top issues are jobs, education and health care – not terrorism, guns, abortion, immigration, environment or other issues that have been more prevalent in debates and news coverage. Their top focus was lack of opportunity.

Will Mullery

The interviews reveal that these younger Americans are awaiting a Republican candidate to take on Trump, who leads all national and early state polls, and are enamored with Bernie Sanders, who is mounting a surprisingly successful campaign against Clinton.

The results of the six focus groups, conducted from September 21 to 24 by Meeting Street Research, cannot be projected nationally, but the findings do reflect themes that interviewers say they heard over multiple sessions.

Republican-leaning millennials described Trump in unflattering terms.

“I feel like he gets angry, and he would just drop a bomb somewhere and get us all killed,” said one Ohio Republican.

Democrats, meanwhile, called him a “joke” and “too emotional.”

Millennials had kinder words for candidates like Carly Fiorina (“formidable” in the eyes of a Republican, “eloquent” in those of a Democrat) and Marco Rubio, who is emphasizing his youth in his GOP bid.

The Democrats surveyed voiced discomfort with Clinton, with some Democratic and Republican voters pointing to verbal missteps or scandals that have surrounded her candidacy.

Will Mullery

“There’s a lot of money behind her. She’s all for women’s health and women’s equality, but at the same time she’s taking ‘donations’ from countries that treat women horribly. It’s just the hypocrisy that bothers me,” said one Ohio Democrat, referring to the Clinton Foundation’s contributions from foreign countries.

“Previously I would have said Hillary would be my ideal candidate because of what she and Bill did in the ‘90’s,” said one Colorado Democratic millennial. “But I think with the recent scandals like Benghazi, email server, and donor lists, it kind of casts her in a shadow of doubt. It’s unfortunate.”

The voters had much kinder words for Sanders, the Vermont insurgent who promises a “political revolution.”

“I love him; he’s inspired me to believe in politics once again. He’s the JFK of our day coming with logic and practicality on the issues,” said another Colorado Democrat.