The youth vote helped President Barack Obama win in 2008, but it may be hard for him to keep them on board in 2012, according to a story posted Friday at RealClearPolitics
“There are any number of signs that the youngest cohort of voting-age Americans are distressed by the direction their nation is heading in and that millions are disenchanted with the man they helped into office in 2008,” writes RealClearPolitics Washington Editor Carl Cannon.
As one example, Cannon cited a Harvard Institute of Politics poll released Thursday showing that most young Americans under 30 believe by a 4-1 margin that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
“This is a number,” he wrote, referring to the poll results, “that would spell trouble for any incumbent, and not just one whose candidacy promised ‘hope’ and whose mantra ‘change you can believe in’ was tailored to young voters.”
The poll findings, according to Cannon, mirror those of another survey taken last April by Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that seeks to educate young Americans about the challenges facing the nation.
Cannon said the two polls taken together indicate that Obama clearly “has work to do” to keep what had been his most loyal base of support in 2008 intact.
John Della Volpe, a Democrat who oversaw the Harvard poll, agreed.
“Short of a big improvement in the economy, it’s going to be tough,” he told Cannon. “Obama won among young people not only because they voted for him, but because they volunteered and spread the word among their generation. They’re not going to want to do that on a lost cause.”
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