Romney's Appeal Among Youths Surges to 41 Percent

Wednesday, 15 Aug 2012 11:20 AM

By Jim Meyers

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For the first time since he began his presidential campaign, Republican Mitt Romney has the support of more than 40 percent of America’s youth vote, a new JZ Analytics poll reveals.

In the survey of likely voters conducted after the presumptive Republican nominee selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, President Barack Obama received less than a majority of the vote — 49 percent — among respondents ages 19 to 29, while Romney got 41 percent.

“This is the first time I am seeing Romney’s numbers this high among 18-to-29-year-olds,” John Zogby, JZ Analytics managing director, told the Washington Times.“This could be trouble for Obama, who needs every young voter he can get.”

In 2008, Obama received an overwhelming 66 percent of the youth vote, the highest percentage for a Democrat in three decades.

Overall, the poll had Obama and Romney tied at 46 percent. The Obama/Joe Biden ticket had a substantial lead among voters ages 30 to 49, but trailed the Romney/Ryan ticket among those 50 to 64, and was more than 20 percentage points behind among voters 65 and over.

Discussing Obama’s disappointing polling numbers among young voters, Zogby said their desire for hope and change has turned into disillusionment and unemployment.

Zogby speculated that Romney’s selection of 42-year-old Ryan helped attract more young voters to the Republican ticket.

He also told the Times that more young voters are becoming libertarian, distrustful of current elected officials.

“They want change,” Zogby said.

The pollster saw an early indication of the trend among young voters in June when he said that Obama faced a “serious crack” in his youth base.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Zogby said: “The fly in the ointment for Barack Obama is young people, 18 to 29 years old. He won massively among that group. This is a completely different group this time around. [There has been] three and a half, almost four years of recession for this group, a lot of hopelessness.

“Watch a battleground play out in the fall, not between Romney and Obama on college campuses but between Obama and Gary Johnson, the libertarian, who I think speaks to a lot of frustration of young people,” Zogby said.

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