MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In this “Behind the Ballot” report, we take a look at how one group of voters is proving quite challenging for the candidates trying to reach them — the Millennials.

Coddled as kids, choking on student loan debt, fickle in their jobs and politics, social media savants: There are all characteristics of this powerful voting block of 18- to 34-year-olds who don’t have a lot in common with the candidates vying for their votes.

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So, how do you get through to them? Not with TV ads, says 23-year old Mimi.

“I think they’re so dated. Just the other day, I was saying I can’t believe people still put money towards this,” she said.

It’s all about social media. It’s the perfect and perhaps only place to reach Millennials, according to generational expert Kim Lear.

“More than anything, it is how Millennials are influenced, hands down,” Lear said.

The 20-somethings at a downtown Minneapolis branding agency couldn’t agree more.

“Without a doubt. People want it in their Twitter feed. They want it on Facebook,” said one Millennial.

“We are so fragmented in our attention spans other than on digital. We’re used to seeing things in 140 characters versus long-form,” said another.

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Yes, social media can work for candidates, as long as they know how to use it, according to campaign strategist Brian McClung.

“You have to be concise. You have to be authentic. You have to present yourself in a way that they’re going to understand where you’re coming from, almost intuitively,” McClung said.

As for the issues important to Millennials, social trumps economic. Except when it comes to one thing nearly all of them have in common:

“I’m in so much student debt. That is a huge issue. When you actually see what you’re paying year after year in interest, it’s nuts,” said another Millennial.

However, perhaps the biggest obstacle for candidates trying to reach this group is apathy.

“I’m not sure if I’ll vote or not in the local election,” one Millennial said.

Yet, the power of the Millennial vote — if you can get them to the polls — cannot be ignored. They’re 86 million strong. They’ve already reshaped two presidential elections. Who knows what else they’re capable of?

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In Minnesota, there are a million and a half Millennials, which is the largest share of the state’s population.