College Students Found Lacking in Election Enthusiasm

Excitement for the 2012 elections is far from 2008 levels on college campuses across the country, according to a report by the Associated Press.

At Elmhurst college, students are having trouble gaining enough interest in politics to even start a Young Democrats society and you would be hard pressed to find a poster or signs for either President Barack Obama or his opponent Mitt Romney.

“Lots of people thought President Obama could go in and break gridlock and that didn’t happen,”  senior Miami University student Ethan Weber told the Associated Press. “That’s the scariest thing to a lot of young people – that nothing is going to happen.”

This, along with multiple studies that show lack in young voter enthusiasm, could mean a significant change for the 2012 elections, especially for the Obama campaign.

A poll released in June from Pew Research Center found that young voters were much less engaged in this election than they had been last year with only 60 percent reporting that they were interested in the election.

A June interview with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students conducted by the Huffington Post saw that 2008 Obama voters had switched their affiliation to Ron Paul, saying that Obama had not changed the system like they were expecting.

As young people find themselves faced with the same worries about their future jobs, student debt and the status quo on foreign policy, they are concluding that nothing has changed in Washington and that the hope and change that they voted for has not been realized.

Even Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage has not contributed to an increase in young Obama supporters. “”Too little, too late,” Meghan Gilliland told the Huffington Post.

This should be worrying for Obama since he owes a great deal of his 2008 success not only to the youth vote but also to their volunteer get-out-the-vote efforts and their effectiveness as a loud and enthusiastic fan base.

Young voter turnout, ages 18-29, increased substantially for the 2008 elections and the gap between young Republicans and young Democrats exploded. In 2004, party affiliation was virtually even for young voters but increased in 2008 to a 19 point gap between registered Democrats and registered Republicans, with most young voters identifying themselves as Democrat.

The 2008 elections also experienced a, “disparity between young voters and other age groups and arger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972,” according Pew Research Center data.

Only time will tell exactly how much this news will affect Obama’s re-election efforts, but one thing that can be said for sure is the Obama campaign cannot rely on the support they had in 2008. Students are not rallying their campuses to support the incumbent President, they are not putting the bumper stickers on their cars and they are certainly not volunteering their Saturdays to knock on doors and make phone calls.

While Romney isn’t exactly drowning in support for young people either, Obama’s fall from stardom in the eyes of young people means a whole different ball game for 2012.

 

Comments

Polititainment

Madeleine Albright T(witter)KOs Conan

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright bested Conan O'Brien by Twitter knockout Thursday night, ribbing the comedian with a comeback worthy of a seasoned pro.

Kimmel: Stoner idea or gov. expenditure?
Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R – Okla.) fifth annual “Wastebook” was released Wednesday and some of the federally funded projects are so outrageous that they can be hard to believe. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel had the same thought and offered his audience a quiz. He read the name of a project, some real and some […]
Obama channels Chris Rock again

At rallies for Democrats in Maryland and Illinois on Sunday, Obama dropped the name "Cousin Pookie" -- a character that he used frequently to energize black voters during his 2008 campaign -- during his speeches.

Oliver beats Supreme Court's camera ban
Comedian John Oliver is sick of the Supreme Court ban on cameras in the court room and the ridiculous ways it makes television news stations have to cover those cases. But all hope is not lost. “What happens at the Supreme Court is way too important not to pay attention to and yet the ban […]
Stewart and Colbert go after 'Fangate'

Both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert had a field day with “Fangate” Thursday night.

White House

Obama is withholding over 15,000 Fast and Furious documents

President Obama claimed executive privilege to withhold over 15,000 documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, including nearly 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Obama delivers devastating blow to red state Democrats, calls them ‘all folks who vote with me’
President Obama can’t seem to stay out of the 2014 midterm elections, no matter how much his fellow Democrats want him to. Obama spoke on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, which was later replayed on MSNBC, insisting that red state Democrats are still his “strong allies.” “A lot of the states that are contested this time […]

Congress

Rand Paul: ‘The war on terror is not over’

Rand Paul attempted to lay out his recently evolving foreign policy vision at his speech Thursday night at the Center for the National Interest.

McCarthy speaks out against 'Truthy' study
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is joining the growing dissent against the federally-funded “Truthy” study designed to monitor political speech on social media. In a blog post Thursday, titled “#KillingFreeSpeech,” McCarthy promises that the House Committee on Science will be conducting oversight “in the coming months on this and other questionable government-funded research projects.” “Why does the government […]
CIA agents impersonated Senate staffers to snoop
Despite a number of growing foreign and domestic threats over the summer, the CIA admitted that they had been using their resources to spy on elected officials in the Senate. Now, insiders are alleging that it’s not just what they did that is the problem, but how they went about it. A new piece by the […]
Republicans say they will reform the IRS

Republicans are talking about reforming the IRS if they gain the majority in the Senate next month, but seem to be treading with caution on making any specific promises.

'Wastebook' finds $25B in 'unnecessary' spending
Monkey gambling, synchronized swimming sea monkeys, and mountain lions on treadmills, oh my! Sen. Tom Coburn (R – Okla.) released his fifth and final “Wastebook” Wednesday, chronicling $25 billion tax dollars spent on 100  “silly, unnecessary, and low priority projects” this year. His findings are absolutely astonishing. Coburn, who is retiring this year, is not letting his fellow […]