With youth engagement in the elections down sharply from four years ago, American Majority Action (AMA) has started a campaign to get college students involved — by firing President Obama.
Monday the well-known conservative organization launched a new initiative called “Students Against Barack Obama” that asks students to “pledge to fire Obama” and “say no to B.O. in 2012.”
Celia Bigelow, founder of “Students Against Barack Obama” and director of AMA’s Campus Action project, said the anti-Obama group was started in direct response to the “Students for Barack Obama” movement that begun in 2008.
“We realized that the Left and the Obama [campaign is] on campus year-round holding voter registration drives because they know that politics is a year-long game,” she said. “And that’s really how they’ve captured the youth vote.”
The new college activism group does not endorse any specific presidential candidate, however.
“There’s a lot of college students that aren’t really excited for Mitt Romney,” she admitted. It is crucial, though, that students vote “for people on the Right and people that aren’t going to support the policies of Barack Obama,” including House or Representatives and U.S. Senate candidates.
Students for Barack Obama is using an agressive social media strategy to spread the word about it’s campaign, turning heads today with an unlisted YouTube video with statistics related to post-graduation unemployment and the economy. It’s website also provides links for students to register to vote and donate to the movement.
The accompanying “Students Against B.O.” Facebook page features a cover photo of fake anti-Obama deodorant that reads “stop the stink” – taking full advantage of President Obama’s humorous initials.
“Young people love humor,” Bigelow said. “[So] we’re using that opportunity and the quirkiness and the humor in the name of the group “Students Against B.O.” to reach young people and to put more of a positive spin on the situation we’re in.”
With more than 400 Facebook likes just a day after the site was launched, Bigelow considers the current progress a step in the right direction.
“Students Against Barack Obama” is not the first campaign to rail against Obama for the tough economic position in which young people find themselves this election year. Last week, Romney for America released an ad showing young 2008 Obama supporters venting their frustration about the broken promises of the Obama administration.
According to a Pew Research Center for People and the Press survey, voter registration is down this year among 18-29-year-olds from 2008. In addition, only 61 percent of this demographic is highly engaged in the election, the survey reports, down 14 percentage points from 75 percent in 2008. The reduced interest in the election among Americans under the age of 40 is nearly equal among Republicans and Democrats. More telling, though, is Pew’s admission that not enough 18-29 year-olds supported Romney in the survey to measure support in this demographic along party lines, which is in and of itself an indicator of how badly the GOP is losing the youth vote, yet again.
Bigelow said she believes these statistics show an overall disenchantment with the Obama administration.
“Everyone was so excited to have the opportunity to vote for the first African-American president, and everything he was promising was hope and change, but for young people we’ve seen such a sharp decline, especially in the economic situation we’re facing,” said Bigelow, who graduated from Hillsdale College in earlier this year.
Citing the rising costs of student health care premiums and the high unemployment rate, Bigelow said another four years of Obama would be “absolutely devastating” for students.
This undeniably sassy new student movement might be the solution for getting young people to realize the direness of their situation.