Skip to comments.Among Young Voters, Obama's Campaign Magic Fades
Posted on 12/11/2010 5:15:02 PM PST by neverdem
In the days after Barack Obama was elected in 2008, Kevin Hollinshead hoped the president would become a leader reminiscent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- capable of steering the country out of a massive economic crisis while taking on his sharpest critics. But Hollinshead, a senior at Colorado State University, now feels that the president has ceded too much to his Republican opposition and failed to live up to the ideals of his campaign.
"They've decided that he's public enemy No. 1, and they'll do whatever it takes to ruin him," Hollinshead said of Republicans in Congress. "And rather than push back, Obama has a tendency to make all these concessions," he added, citing the lack of a public option in the new health care law and the president's compromise with Republicans this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all earners, including the wealthy. Hollinshead is one of many college-aged Americans who have begun to pull back their support for the president in recent months. According to an October poll by Harvard's Institute of Politics, 49 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 approve of the president's job performance, down from 58 percent a year ago. The decline has been even sharper among college students. An October AP-mtvU poll reported that 44 percent of college students approve of the president's job performance, down from 60 percent in May 2009.
Those new percentages reflect a significant shift from the election in 2008, when young Americans turned out in record numbers to help elect Obama. According to CIRCLE, an organization that tracks the youth vote, voters aged 18 to 25 preferred Obama over his opponent, Sen. John McCain, by a margin of 68 percent to 30 percent.
In 2008, Obama's campaign made a point of courting young voters and organizers through new media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. The campaign also used the Internet to build a vast network of small donors, which helped it to fund advertising in traditionally Republican states.
This fall, Obama staged a series of rallies on college campuses in an attempt to channel some of the enthusiasm for his campaign into votes for Democrats in the midterm elections. But the effort appeared to come up short. Only 20.4 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 cast ballots last month.
For at least some of the young people who voted for Obama, the past two years have been characterized by steady disillusionment in the wake of a campaign filled with soaring rhetoric and sweeping, but occasionally vague, promises of change.
"I think a lot of people got too excited with anticipation," said Alex Flynn, 21, of Lexington, Ky., referring to the months leading up to the presidential election. "I was probably more excited then because, politics aside, it was a historic moment for the country."
For now, however, the excitement has worn off. "I don't have these illusions of grandeur that he's going to get everything done that he's promised," Flynn said.
"I think everyone really liked him and looked up to him, especially during the election campaign," said Jil Hellmann, 24, of Osnabrück, Germany, who moved to Dallas in 2009. "To me, looking back on how he displayed himself, he was like this white canvass, and everyone projected their ideas onto him."
But in August, when Obama qualified his support for the controversial Islamic community center planned near ground zero softening his initial statement after it caused a political uproar Hellmann began to think the president was unwilling to stand by his values.
On the left, the critique that Obama has wavered too easily on core progressive principles was addressed by the president with uncharacteristic emotion during his press conference this week on the new tax cut deal.
"This is the public option debate all over again," Obama said, responding to criticisms that he should have rejected compromise with Republicans on tax cuts for top income earners. "I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans... but because there was a provision in there that they didn't get that would have affected maybe a couple million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people... that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise."
Jeffry Burnam, a visiting professor of government at Georgetown University, believes that if Obama hopes to win back support in any demographic, the economy must improve first.
"I think it's basically the economy," Burnam said about the cause of the president's declining approval rating. "I think he over-promised, and he didn't deliver the results he had indicated with the stimulus bill."
Short attention spans. To them, Obama is old news. They’ve moved on to the “next big thing”.
This reminds me of mornings when I woke up and realized that I had been over-served.
A whole bunch of whom have now graduated and are unemployed in obama's america. All that Hopenchange just never cut the mustard.
Obama is an enemy of America and all that she has stood for and accomplished. Half of us knew that before he was elected. Now many more are realizing it. Americans will not allow Obama to further drag our Country down...
Must be talking about GW!??
Ahhh, the glorious days of being a “young skull full of mush”.
Here is a definion of incompetence.
incompetence: lack of physical or intellectual ability or qualifications
Obama had ZERO experience. He had a lack of qualifications. Now everyone is surprised he has no idea what to do. It was all hype.
“To me, looking back on how he displayed himself, he was like this white canvass, and everyone projected their ideas onto him.”
No one knew what he was, except those like on FR who spent time trying to warn people. The MSM certainly wasn’t vetting him. They couldn’t see past their slobbering fascination with his color.
These young fools had no one to blame but themselves. They put into office a young, inexperienced incompetant with no record, and now they are all shocked and disappointed. Fools.
“And rather than push back, Obama has a tendency to make all these concessions,”
This cat is on crack! He either hasn’t learned a thing or he is dyed-in-the-wool liberal.
“but occasionally vague, promises of change”, this must be from the onion
Some have realized that Obama is a turd in a nice suit, but a turd nonetheless.
Go ahead, Obama...screw with the net and limit the ability to text. They will love ya, bub.
Hahahha Gopher it, I dare ya....
Growing up is hard to do. It begins with shattered idealism.
For Obama to win,
1. The economy has to return to AT LEAST pre 2008 levels
2. Obama has to leave Afghanistan and Iraq to please his base.
3. At the same time, Obama can’t be weak anymore (he failed this yesterday during the clinton presser.)
The morning of the election I stood in a long line waiting for the polls to open. There was a kid on a bicycle several people in front of me making small talk with some friends of his. The last thing he said before he took off was, “Well, I’m a street organizer for Obama so I better get going.”
My thought at the time was “What the hells a street organizer”. My thought today is. I doubt that “street organizer” will even vote in 2012.
I guess they cherrypicked the people they interviewed. Obama didn’t do enough. He compromised too much. He let the Republicans tell him what to do.
Oh, sure. That’s the problem. He should have stuck to his support of the Ground Zero Mosque and refused to even TALK to those dirty Republicans.
They’ll bow in worship of the next Dem candidate. And the next, and the next.
“Go ahead, Obama...screw with the net and limit the ability to text. They will love ya, bub.
Hahahha Gopher it, I dare ya....”
hahaha, that’s right! The kids LIVE to text, lol.
Could part of the problem be that they don’t really even know anything about FDR?
“To me, looking back on how he displayed himself, he was like this white canvass, and everyone projected their ideas onto him.”
Hey, that rasis..!
I wonder what the idiot U. Colorado senior thinks about Obama walking away from the podium leaving Clinton to answer his questions!!! He probably doesn’t even know about this.
Point of concern to me is that the majority of the elected Republicans also attended the missions of socialism.
Yes Obama, the world no longer hates us, as you claimed in 2008. Now, they pity us!
They have seen in the span of 2 short years, the greatest nation on earth reduced to
the mediocrity of a 3rd World Nation,
We are saddled in debt, broke, unemployed. We landed men on the moon and now have to pay for rides on other countries rockets.
We were a country of pioneers, innovators, risk takers & dreamers. You want us to be a nation of mindless numbers, eagerly awaiting the next handout.
You were entrusted with the stewardship of this great nation by people who were led to believe in the words of your speeches.
Now, your words are empty, you commitments unfulfilled.
Your style of leadership is not in the American Spirit of Boldness and Righteousness. Your leadership style is to blame, not inspire...to threaten, not encourage.
In the greatest threat to this country, the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln built a Team of Rivals and together, they won a war, healed a nation and freed a race. All in the short span of 4 years.
You sir, have built a team of crooks & cronies, each seeking to line their pockets, further their self interests and abandon the principles that made this country great.... at the expense of the people they are suppose to serve.
In less than 2 years, you have come closer to destroying this country than the forces Lincoln faced, ever did.
For you and your ilk, the American Dream is a myth, something to hold in contempt, for you never believed in it. You only believe in getting what you want, regardless of method or deception.
But America is a resilient Nation. Americans learn from the mistakes of the past. And as they learn that you were not as you claimed, you will hear a growing chorus of dissent across the nation, across all demographics and races that not even you can ignore. Your choice will eventually be resignation, impeachment or devastating defeat in the 2012 election.
Plenty of idiots in Boulder at the University of Colorado but the one you reference is an idiot in Fort Collins at Colorado State.
Easter Bunny - Fake
Tooth Fairy - Fake
Santa Claus - Fake
Unicorns - Fake
Obama - FAKE
Ralph Nader needs to help these kids out, to the tune of winning about 3 to 5% of the vote in 2012.
FK obozo and his entire cabinet
"They've decided that he's public enemy No. 1, and they'll do whatever it takes to ruin him," Hollinshead said of Republicans in Congress. "And rather than push back, Obama has a tendency to make all these concessions," he added......showing that he's got his head stuck far enough up his ass to be quoted by a partisan media shill trying to smear the Republican minority in Congress (oh, and the conservative majority in the country). Thanks neverdem.
Gee, kinda like the RATs decided the moment George W. Bush took office. Seems they can dish it out but they sure can't take it. Cry me a river.
I’m witnessing this transition among some of my douche bag fellow college students. Funny, they thought Obama and Keynesian economics were “like totally cool...like” in 2009.
Now these little dipshi*s can’t find a job, and theyre really understanding what wealth distribution is all about now that it’s personally affecting them.
Many times reality is the best medicine for young pampered Socialists!
'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'
That also applies to those ignorant of the past.
"Kevin Hollinshead hoped the president would become a leader reminiscent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt"
So, as I see it, Mr. Hollinshead got his wish.
More socialism, bigger government, massive spending, no recovery - just like FDR's first two years.
In fact, the country didn't recover from the FDR era depression until the advent of World War II.
Let's pray it doesn't take another World War to end the Obama Depression.
May 51% be as you described ... with the Fair Tax or Flat Tax you can bump the % because everyone will have skin in the game.
Sad but true most folks don’t have a clue
Reality bites hard when you graduate with no job prospects and are required to start paying back those student loans.
Congratulate your douche bag fellow college students for waking up to reality too late. My generation adored Jimmy Carter for the same superficial, idiotic reasons and helped elect Ronald Reagan just four years later.
And to think, it’s only taken them the better part of two years to finally, kinda sorta (but not really) catch on. Even though Obama began displaying clear and obvious signs of massive, draw-dropping incompetence from, literally, day one. (E.g. issuing an executive order declaring that Gitmo would be closed in one year, without ever bothering with normal executive procedures like an interdepartmental review, or even consulting informally with his cabinet, or bothering to so much as glance at the documents generated by the Bush administration’s own thorough inter-agency review of the same issue.)
So they graduated ignorant, but now they’ve gotten an education.
Bravo. Well said. This man must go. By any means under providence or the law.
I guess they cherrypicked the people they interviewed. Obama didnt do enough. He compromised too much. He let the Republicans tell him what to do.
Oh, sure. Thats the problem. He should have stuck to his support of the Ground Zero Mosque and refused to even TALK to those dirty Republicans.
I have questioned seven of my leftist friends. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY THINK. This country is becomeing so polarized that civil war will be impossible to avoid