Winning the Support of Young Voters a Key for Obama
For President Barack Obama, the election of 2012 may well turn out to be a young man’s (and young woman’s) game.
President Obama’s re-election may well turn on his ability to replicate turnout and support among young voters. It’s no slam dunk and his campaign is already hard at work on the problem. Jerry Seib has details on The News Hub.
Mr. Obama won the presidency in 2008 in no small measure because of strong support among younger voters. That support sagged for Democrats in 2010, and the party paid dearly.
In his re-election effort, amid a still-troubled economy and in an environment in which the president will be hard-pressed to match his initial support among various other demographic groups (white males, the working class, Hispanics), replicating that performance among young voters figures to be crucial.
In swing states such as Colorado, where the population trends younger, it may be the decisive factor.
Certainly the Obama campaign is treating the young vote as potentially decisive. It just launched something called Greater Together, a program aimed specifically at mobilizing voters aged 18 to 29. In recent days it held the first of a series of “student summits,” this one conducted by campaign chief Jim Messina and live-streamed to 80 college campuses across the country. And it has hired an activist whose experience includes running the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network to lead a young-voter drive.
The effort won’t be without its complications. Certainly younger voters start out as a core support group for the president. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that the president’s job approval among Americans aged 18 to 29—the traditional definition of younger voters—is 51%, compared with 37% among those 35 to 49.