Millennial poll: Obama is so yesterday

White House photo
If there was any doubt that the tidal wave of enthusiasm among young voters that fueled President Obama’s 2008 run has long since receded, a new poll on the millennial generation’s political leanings in the upcoming election cements it.

The Harvard Institute of Politics’ national survey of 18- to 29-year-olds, released on Wednesday, found that while likely young voters favor Obama by a 19-point margin—55 percent to Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s 36 percent—only 48 percent say that they definitely plan to vote next month.

On every issue, from the economy to immigration to health care to foreign affairs, young voters said they trust the president more than Romney. Nonetheless, the Romney supporters appear to be more enthusiastic, with 66 percent who support the former Massachusetts governor saying they will definitely vote, compared to 55 percent of Obama backers.

In 2008, Obama won Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia with the help of young voters. If all the under-30s had stayed home, the historically red states would have remained in the GOP column.

The poll results point to disappointment, not necessarily in Obama, but in the political system as a whole. Sixty-two percent said that Obama inherited circumstances too big and too complex to be remedied in one term, while only 33 percent said that the president has failed.

Meanwhile, almost four in 10 millennials said that it doesn’t matter who is elected because Washington is broken. A quarter of them said that neither candidate represents their views, and almost three-quarters admitted to not being politically active.

All signs indicate that young voter turnout will not be shattering any records on Nov. 6. In 2008, 18- to 29-year-old voters posted the third-highest turnout since 1972, and broke for Obama over Republican nominee John McCain by a 2 to 1 ratio.

“If I’m on the president’s campaign I would be concerned. Young voters are one of his key coalition demographics,” said John Della Volpe, the institute’s polling director. “But a part of this is not just about the candidates, it’s a lack of interest in the election process and whether those votes matter.”

The survey was taken over the Internet from Sept. 19 to Oct. 3, and had a sample size of 2,123 adults ages 18 to 29. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.