Skip to comments.Millennials less enthusiastic about Obama this election
Posted on 10/20/2012 2:57:03 PM PDT by neverdem
The cheering midst of a rally featuring President Barack Obama and a largely college-age crowd of 15,000 on the Oval at Ohio State University would not seem a likely place to encounter those not in the presidents corner.
Yet, the first five students approached at random by a Dispatch reporter on Oct. 9 turned out to support Republican Mitt Romney and his aspirations of replacing Obama in the White House.
The must-vote adoration and enthusiasm for Obama isnt what it once was among 18- to 29-year-old Millennials in central Ohio, a must-win area in a must-win state for presidential hopefuls.
This is not 2008, when two-thirds of the youth vote broke big for Democrat Obama and his message of change amid the accompanying offer of making history by electing the first black president.
This is 2012, with Obama running on a recession-riddled record. Job prospects are iffy for even educated young Ohioans. Some fear their generation is in danger of failing to match or better their parents now-dinged lifestyles.
Husband and wife William, 26, and Katherine Frost, 20, OSU students from Grove City, had high hopes for Obama but now are Romney voters. Obama didnt fulfill his promises, she said. Im ready for a fresh change, he said.
Yet to many young adults who tend to trend more liberal than their parents on social issues such as reproductive and gay rights, Obama remains the only option when matched against the conservative Romney.
How does Romney have the right to tell me what I can and cant do with my body? asked Tabitha Johnsen, a 21-year-old Columbus native attending Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware. Shes already voted for Obama.
Millennials, an increasingly diverse and growing group representing 16 percent of Ohios population, are coveted by both Obama and Romney, with both making college campuses a frequent stop.
And the biggest of them all, Ohio State and its 56,387 main-campus students, rests in the heart of Franklin County, which cast 50 percent of the presidential vote in a 20-county swath of central Ohio four years ago. Obama chose OSU, in fact, to kick off his re-election campaign at a May 5 rally.
Ohio is the center of the political universe, and Columbus is the center of that, said Mayor Michael B. Coleman, a Democrat who exhorted OSU students at the Obama rally to have his back.
Franklin County typically is vital turf in presidential elections, with successful Democrats such as Obama relying on six-figure wins to overcome the GOP votes cast by the reliably Republican counties dominating central Ohio.
But, courting and turning out the votes of youth, who are less reliable in going to the polls than older voters are, is proving more difficult this time around a trend that could work against Obamas re-election chances.
National polls suggest Obama still enjoys a near 20 percentage-point advantage over Romney among young adults, but their enthusiasm has waned, leaving them less likely to vote than in 2008.
Polling late last month by the Pew Research Center found young voters, who have cast a majority of their votes for Democrats in the past three presidential elections, are significantly less engaged than in 2008.
Sixty-three percent of young registered voters plan to cast ballots this year, compared with 72 percent four years ago. And 61 percent call themselves highly engaged this year, down from 75 p ercent in 2008.
Herb Asher, a professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State, said youthful excitement over Obama has been tempered by the real world and reality of governing during tough times.
And theres nothing in particular about Romneys candidacy that would have unique or special appeal to young people. Neither of the candidates today are considered to be rock stars by young people, Asher said.
Asher expects Obama to be a favorite again with Millennials in central Ohio but adds a footnote: The real question is not so much the level or loyalty of support but turnout. ... The youth vote is an integral part of his strategy and extremely important here.
Some students, who face an average college debt approaching $30,000 and an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds, are standing firm with Obama.
Paul Filippelli, 22, an Ohio State senior from Pickerington, said: Obama stands for a lot of issues important to students education funding and making college affordable for all students. Romney only stands for making sure the wealthy get their tax cuts.
At Denison University in Granville, Sharea Elliott, 19, a freshman from Havre de Grace, Md., who will be casting an Ohio ballot, finds Romney shady and lacking good intentions.
President Obamas for the people and for women. I want a president who will make decisions that benefit me, and thats not Romney, she said.
Still others are continuing to calculate how to cast their first-ever presidential votes.
Rachel Dininger, 19, an Ohio State freshman from Arlington, Texas, is registered to vote in Ohio. Im not a fan of Romneys emphasis on big business, but Im uncertain about Obamas economic plan. My generation is going to have to pay off his (Obama) debt. I could go either way.
Cameron Phelps, 19, an OSU sophomore from Marion, still is making his call, as well. Im not really supporting anybody, but Im leaning toward Romney after the first debate. Im uncertain how Romney fixes everything, but Obamas track record is not good.
Paul Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, an Arlington, Va., pro-business nonprofit seeking to engage noncollege Millennials on economic issues, said, They dont decide on a party like their parents or grandparents.
Theyre much more interested in the details and solutions. Theyre interested in making a difference, said Conway, former chief of staff at the Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine Chao.
This election definitely will be decided by Millennials. If the candidates dont talk straight to them, theyre leaving a lot of votes on the floor. They are intensely concerned by the prospect they wont have the same purchase on the American dream as prior generations.
Yeah, only the seriously brain dead are enthusiastically supporting Obama now, you know, the 47%. The other 53% who don’t get free phones from Obama have a better grasp of reality. And that’s about how the numbers will ultimately break down on election night: 52.5% for Romney, 46.5% for Obama and about 1% for Johnson or whomever.
Four more years with Obama and those students will be lucky to have any job before they are 30 that doesn’t involve waiting tables, mopping floors or working fast food. The smarter students understand this. The dumber ones think Obama will just forgive their student loans.
“I’m not a fan of Romney’s emphasis on big business...”
Well, dear, I assmume you want to get a job when you graduate?
A 50% probablility of getting a job after graduation has to be an eye-opener for any college kid. The thought of moving back in with the parents while flipping burgers for a living isn’t what hope and change is all about.
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Cameron must be majoring in understatements.
My daughter, a former Obama supporter, refuses to vote for Romney, and has elected to stay home on Nov. 6
She’s coming around, slowly but surely.Parenthood will do that.
She probably plans on doing social work for a non-profit organization.
freep this poll
2) At my university---and admittedly, I'm not on campus a great deal---I see no overt enthusiasm anywhere for Obama. There is little for Romney, but the students are aware of the debt and deficits and if anything, I think they'll stay home in numbers even higher than what this report suggests.
3) VERY IMPORTANT: have you noticed that ZEro can only give speeches on college campuses anymore? He can't do public speeches because he'll get heckled---and he absolutely can't stand that---and his crowd sizes are down so dramatically everyone will notice. So he stays on safe campuses where he can still draw a crowd (Poly Sci profs all let out their classes to go to his rallies!)
I have 2 daughters in this demographic.
One in SC and one in Tx. Both are voting Romney.
The 18 year old college freshman texted the following to the DW during the last debate: “Obama is a friggin’ idiot.”
The 21 year old picked up on Obama’s contradiction on illegal immigration and creating highly skilled, good paying jobs. She rightly said you can’t have both.
Hopefully these two are a good sample.
He doesn't think so, unless we are paying for it.... Sweetie. lol
Hell I wasn’t enthusiastic about him four years ago. This crappy economy has crushed my dreams in the past four years. Here’s hoping for a recovery in the next four nd that my generation wakes the eff up.
How does Romney have the right to tell me what I can and cant do with my body? asked Tabitha Johnsen, a 21-year-old Columbus native attending Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware. Shes already voted for Obama.”
No jobs for you then. Next!
It sounds like you have two spart daughters. I cannot imagine why any 18 to 35 year olds would vote for Obama. If he maintains the same policies he has been promoting, these young people will have no SS, no medicare as it will be nonexistent when they turn 65. They will be saddled with this enormous debt which will trickle down to their children. Jobs are seriously scarce for them now and that will not improve under Obama with his regulations and taxes. The price of gasoline is not going to come down as Obama banned the Keystone pipeline and most drilling on public lands. Many of them are having to move back in with their parents. The future does not look bright for them with four more years of the same old, same old.
Some college student asked Obama about jobs and Obama said something to the effect that he would create more manufacturing jobs. I bet this young man did not go to college to get a manufacturing job.
I could go on and on, but I think these young people who are voting Obama have been brainwashed by the months and months of negative ads by the Obama administration. The young people quoted in this article are just parroting Obama’s description of Romney. Initially I was not supportive of Romeny, but The more I hear about Romeny and how unselfish he is with his time and money, the more I like him.
Based on his track record, I think Romney can turn this economy around and create jobs and our Community Organizer in Chief has not a clue of how to do this as he has proven to us these last four years.
Critical Bobo segment -9 RV Ohio, -14 on engagement.
Turn out the liiiights, the party's over....
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