What Do Younger Voters Think Of Obama? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

What Do Younger Voters Think Of Obama?

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - A massive new report released by the Pew Research Center has mixed news for President Barack Obama: The age gap in voting that opened up over the last seven years and helped elect him president in 2008 is persisting, but the political enthusiasm and engagement that younger voters demonstrated four years ago is "substantially depleted."

The declining economy has hit younger Americans hard, and Obama's approval ratings have declined as sharply with them as with other age groups. These trends have some speculating that Republicans might make a "significant dent" in Obama's share of younger voters, sometimes called Millennials or Generation Y.

Yet according to the Pew Research data released Thursday, Obama remains the overwhelming choice of younger voters when matched against Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Obama currently leads Romney among Millennial voters (ages 18 to 30) by a 61 to 37 percent margin. According to network exit polls, Obama's 2008 margin over Republican nominee John McCain among Millennials was larger (66 to 32 percent), but the president has lost ground across all age groups. The remarkable gap between the youngest and oldest voters' political preferences -- a relatively new phenomenon that first emerged in 2004 -- persists.

What has changed since 2008 among the youngest voters is their level of enthusiasm and engagement. "There has been a substantial decline in interest among Millennials," the Pew Research analysts report, "combined with a spike in interest among older voters." The number of Millennials who say they have given a lot of thought to the candidates has declined from 28 percent at this point in 2007 to 13 percent now. Similarly, the number paying close attention to the campaign has fallen from 24 to 17 percent since 2007. Those changes have created what Pew Research calls "a wide generational gap in attention to the campaign that was not present in 2007." Click here to read more

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