Pollster Scott Rasmussen told Red Alert Politics in an exclusive interview that Mitt Romney and the Republicans have no chance of capturing the youth vote in November and that the GOP message is not resonating.
However, youth enthusiasm for President Obama has fallen dramatically since 2008.
“They were excited about being part of a movement that was going out in 2008, and now most younger adults have a favorable opinion of the president nowhere near that intensity,” Rasmussen said. “Maybe that means a slightly lower turnout this year for under 30s. Maybe it means Gov. Romney will pick up a larger share of the vote, but it won’t be a decisive advantage.”
Rasmussen says the electorate is split between those over and under the age of 40. Those over 40 favor Romney while those under 40 such as younger Gen-Xers and Millennials back the president.
Republicans still carry baggage in the eyes of a lot of younger voters dating back to the Bush years and issues like the Iraq War.
“While the health care issue is unpopular nationally, it is popular among young people,” Rasmussen said.
Republican talk about issues such as student loan debt and youth unemployment are not connecting with younger voters according to his polling.
But Rasmussen believes young Americans are not very engaged with the political process at the present time because his polling suggests that only 17 percent of likely young-adult voters are paying attention at this point.
Although Romney has virtually no chance of winning younger voters this year, he could change perceptions with how he decides to govern should Obama be defeated in November.