Skip to comments.Youth Vote Cools on Obama (Millenial Generation Now Feel He's a Huge Letdown)
Posted on 07/27/2010 1:32:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
A recession hitting younger workers hardest, frustration with a slow-to-change Washington after the campaign joyrideyoung supporters are ditching the president. Samuel P. Jacobs on whether theyll come around by Novembers midterms.
Are the kids still all right with Obama?
In 2008, no age group came out for the freshman senator from Illinois like twentysomethings. They saw a kindred spirit in the candidate who rocked Jay-Z on his iPod and cut a fresh profile among other politicians a decade or three his senior. They rewarded him by coming out to the polls in greater numbers than any other group of young voters in 36 years. But now theyve cooled on their favorite candidate.
In the presidential elections, the so-called millennial generation voted 2-to-1 for Obama, as the Democratic advantage over Republicans stretched to a margin of 62 percent to 30 percent. Among voters in their twenties, Obamas approval rating was 73 percent shortly after his January 2009 inauguration. A year later, in February 2010, that number slipped to 57 percent. The bleeding hasnt stopped: Last week, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac showed the president trailing a generic Republican among 18- to 34-year-olds.
The causes for Obamas rising deficit among young voters are manifold. For one, an ebbing tide lowers all ships. As Obamas approval rating sinks with baby boomers, he is unlikely to hold steady among their children.
You cant expect that his numbers are going to go down and its not going to see some measure across the board, said Quinnipiacs Peter A. Brown.
Young voters also are turning on the president because the bleak economy is hitting them hardest. No age group has a tougher time finding a job than teenagers and twentysomethings. If commentators on the left, including some of the most visible, like The New York Times Paul Krugman, are correct in arguing that the presidents popularity is a reflection of voters sense of the economy and little else, the White House is likely to continue to lose ground with young voters no matter what it does.
As young voters ushered Obama into the White House, so too did he bring many into the political arena for the first time. The distance from the inspiration of the campaign to the messy reality of governing may be turning young voters off.
In all the polling that weve seen and done, there is a frustration with the pace of change in Washington, but they still like him personally, Heather Smith, director of Rock the Vote, said of Obama. They want to see change happen faster.
The Obama doubting shouldnt just concern the White House. Disappointment with the president will hurt the congressional candidates who relied on Obamas ability to turn out young voters in 2008. One of the most endangered Democrats is Rep. Tom Perriello, who squeaked out a win in Virginias 5th Congressional District by 727 votes in 2008. (A poll last week had the freshman trailing challenger Robert Hurt by 23 points.) Perriellos district includes the University of Virginia, and his campaign is hoping that raising his profile in Charlottesville can help him keep the seat.
I think it would be quixotic to say that we wont have any dropoff at all. We see our job as trying to close the gap as much as possible, said Perriello campaign manager Lise Clavel.
Indeed, no one expects a greater number of young voters to punch ballots in 2010 than in 2008. Traditionally, voters of all ages turn out in fewer numbers, on average 15 percent less, during midterm election years. For those who monitor youth voting, the hope is that this year marks an improvement on 2006, not 2008. Frustration with Washington could put an end to an otherwise promising trend: According to one study, the percentage increase among young voters from 2002the previous non-presidential yearto 2006 was greater than among any other group. In 2006, 10.8 million young voters pulled the lever, a jump of 2 million from 2002.
But whatever lag in voting occurs, it may be exacerbated by the fact that few candidates this cycle are doing what Obama did so well in 2008making young voters believe the election is about them.
Its like a party, said Smith of Rock the Vote. These young people are willing to participate and be active by nature, but they are not going to show up unless they are invited. Candidates have to invite them. Once they do, they are willing to show up.
Yet for many of Obamas most faithful volunteers, the young campaign workers who passed out coffee in the Iowa winter and stood on New Hampshire street corners, the months following the election have been less than a party.
I think it is seen as a letdown, said Megan Simpson, who volunteered for the Obama campaign and is now working as field director for Reshma Saujani, a Democratic candidate for Congress in New York. We were all on 100 percent high speed, go-go on the campaign.
It is different now, Simpson said.
Even the greenest of politicos knows that no matter the politics of the present, campaign season is just around the corner. Simpson said her friends from the campaign who have now spread throughout the country, helping other candidates or infiltrating themselves into D.C. think tanks, are ready to spring into action once the White House sets its eyes on 2012.
The people I worked with on the Obama campaign are absolutely going to come back together, she said. If he stays in office for another four years, we can make sure that we get done what we set out to do.
-- Samuel P. Jacobs is a staff reporter at The Daily Beast. He has also written for The Boston Globe, The New York Observer, and The New Republic Online.
Imagine that... these kids are reaching 20 or 21 years of age and they *still* don’t have mansions, yachts, private jets or anything else that they thought Obama would help them get.
I guess he’s just another politician answering to the rich, just like the evil Bush.
Better luck next time kids.
“No age group has a tougher time finding a job than teenagers and twentysomethings. “
Illegals now do all the fast food, paper route, grocery store, aggie work, and pickup construction jobs that used to be the realm of American kids.
Plus, I think the kids are disappointed because 0bama promised instant socialism and a new society for all, and we are getting merely organized crime and fascism.
I never was "down for the struggle", but I have many friends who are lost causes to spectacular degrees. Maybe I need new friends?
It’s sad to say: it’s a difficult thing to have liberal friends.
They ain’t seen nothin yet. Wait til they start getting the bill for Obamacare and the 1.47 trillion dollar deficits.
We never taught these young people American history or Western Civilization. I guess we expected them to reinvent thousands of years of culture using their imaginations and Hollywood slasher movies. Instead, they followed the frightened masses into Marxism.
The ObamoRats raised the minimum wage, keep foisting higher taxes and regulations on business, slapped the huge ObamaCare debacle on health insurance coverages and refuse to lower capital gains tax on corporations. With this rotgut recipe no wonder the economy is experiencing collective agida and nausea! The kids at least had some summer jobs with the GWB years. Change = Chains!
Boomers to Millenials:
Their social justice professors never mention the taxes they'll have to pay, 'cept Mommy and Daddy will pay them, just like your tuition.
doesn’t he even save this stuff for Big Sh!tty Friday anymore???
Not if you have one of these for therapeutic relief!
Well, disaffection, once it sets in, is nearly impossible to reverse, especially with younger voters many of whom convinced their parents to vote for the Obamao.
The problem is, no ballot box can repeal the laws of economics.
And this before the Tax Bomb hits on 1/1 and those with jobs will then be forced to pay the Obamacare Tax.
Ahhhhh, twenty somethings-such savy - such wisdom and sooooo much knowledge. Please, next time stay home and tend to your pimples before you unwittingly distroy our country.
And, just like the real parties they attend while in college comes the inevitable...
...HANGOVER and letdown...
...better known as...
N O V E M B E R
As many Boomers that we are its painful to see that these marxists scum from our era are doing this to the next generations. Pox on godless leftism!
what a bunch of idiotic spoiled children.
Repeal amendments XXIV and XXVI.