Where Is The Youth Vote?
This is about 20 percent lower than the recording voting intentions of youth in the fall of 2004 and 2008, the poll found.
In an election where both parties are neck and neck in polls and every vote counts, the decrease among youth voters could have a big effect on the election in the fall.
President Obama may be most vulnterable, should less youth show up to the polls, Business Insider reported especially in swing states like Virginia where the youth vote was what allowed him to beat Republican Candidate John McCain, BI reported:
“The youth vote was an overwhelming strength for the president in his 2008 victory over John McCain. But it's especially significant in Virginia, where 198-to-29-year-olds made up 22 percent of the vote in 2008 — 5 points higher than the national average. Obama won that vote 60-40.”
The reason for this drop in youth participation from 2008 could be a growing apathy of voters between the ages of 18 and 24, underscored here in a recent New York Times article which shares different voices from that age block, like Chad Tevlin:
“Tevlin, 19, a student trying to pay for college by cleaning portable toilets in South Bend, Ind., cannot recall if he registered to vote at all. “Pointless” is how he describes politics.”
Still, despite the current state of disillusionment among youth voters, The Hill reported that spokespersons for the president said they believe they can still re-capturing the youth vote.
“Senior administration officials…[said that] winning over younger voters, in what they think will be a close election, is going to be difficult. At the same time, the officials said they believed they will have the winning recipe when voters hit the polls in November — especially because of their economic message.”
However, the New Republic reported, since one of Obama’s most popular policy goals--a restructuring of student loan rates--- has now been addressed, one of his most compelling political platforms among youth voters may have disappeared.
“The fact that a deal was finally struck suggests that Obama may not be able to use the issue any longer as a means of rallying young people to vote for him.”
On the flip side, the GOP, whose campaign may be less hinged on youth voters, seeing as the party only captured 33 percent of the vote of that age category in 2008, is also looking for ways to re-engage the youth to vote towards Romney, Fox News reported.
"The president has already gone to great lengths to woo them both through style ("slow jamming the news" on Jimmy Fallon) and substance (reminding recent graduates that his health care law allows them to remain on their parents' insurance plans until age 26). [However] Republicans are trying to eat into that lead by arguing young folks are more likely to get a job during a Mitt Romney presidency."
In fact, in this election Republicans super PACs such as MayPac and the YG Action fund, plan to spend $5 million this election cycle, targeting younger voters over time by emphasizing the economy as well, ABC News reported.
“Organizers say they hope to make some headway with younger voters this cycle, but they aren't promising a Republican revolution by November.”
CBS reported that with both parties trying to outreach, the lack of interest among youth voters could change as the election draws closer, however there is no evidence behind that claim.
These result of the Gallup Poll are based on an analysis of May 1-July 10 Gallup Daily tracking interviews with more than 30,000 registered voters, and more than 2,800 18- to 29-year-old registered voters.
Reach Executive Producer Jackie Mansky here.
Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the U.S. Presidentail election here.