Youth vote up for grabs in 2012
More likely, fewer young people will vote and those that do will be open to a candidate who can speak to their misery and give them reason for optimism about the future. Does that mean that a GOP candidate can win the 18-29 demographic?
Not likely. But they can close the considerable gap that opened up in 2008.
In 2008, the youth vote helped sweep Barack Obama into office. Americans 18-29 spread the word on social media, energized fundraising and went to the polls.
In 2012, the youth vote is moving on and throwing those omnipresent "Hope" bumper stickers and t-shirts in garbage bins.
Not because of apathy. Not because another candidate generates more enthusiasm. Not because of his character. Not because they think voting is pointless. The 18-29 vote is up for grabs in 2012 because youth can't afford cars to put bumper stickers on and those t-shirts are worn out from too many days sitting on the couch unemployed.
The sobering reality: just 55.3 percent of Americans between 16 and 29 have jobs. And earlier this year, Americans' student loan debt surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever.
Rather than develop a lasting initiative to help young unemployed Americans, the President launched "Greater Together" - a campaign tool that offers community forums rather than jobs. Rather than provide a bailout to those crushed by the burden of educational loans, his student debt relief program was pathetic - only reducing interest rates by a measly 0.5 percent.
No wonder less than half of Americans 18-29 approve of Obama.
More than their elders, young people want to feel good about their vote. The whole "self satisfaction" quotient is far more intense among the youth While many are still enamored of the president, there is certainly a large segment of the young who have lost faith in Obama and might be persuadable if the GOP candidate can prove to them that government isn't the answer to what they seek. That's why it will take more than simply attacking Obama for his failures in order for the GOP to win in November.
The Republican candidate who can best articulate a positive economic message could pick up a significant part of the youth vote along with the rest of the electorate.
H/T: Jim Hoft