Democrats need more than speeches to win back the youth vote
According to Juan Williams, the Democrats did not give young people a reason to show up and vote in 2014:
Congressional Democrats gave those voters little reason to go to the polls this year. No one on Capitol Hill was standing up for their agenda.
As a result, exit polls from this year’s midterms give Democrats only an 11- percentage-point edge over Republicans among 18-29 year olds and a mere 3-point edge among 30-44 year olds.
Basically, the Democrats’ lead over Republicans among young voters was cut in half in 2014.
And among 18 and 19 year olds, turnout dropped from 19 percent in 2012 to 13 percent in the midterms, a loss of about 14 million voters.
The exit polls also showed a five-percentage-point jump in young voters who self-identify as Republicans – 31 percent this year as compared to 26 percent in 2012.
Self-identified Democrats as a share of young voters dropped from 44 percent in 2012 to 37 percent this year, while independents went up from 30 percent to 33 percent.
Republicans are pressing their appeal to young voters by bringing in fresh faces, such as 30-year-old Elise Stefanik of New York and 39-year-old Mia Love of Utah.
The big question for the coming Congress is whether the House Democrats will get off the floor and fight for the interests of young voters.
Let me respectfully disagree with Mr. Williams.
First, the Democrats lost the youth vote when "hope and change" ceased to be about idealism. Many young people jumped on the bandwagon because they thought that Obama was different and better than other politicians. Well, he is not different in any good ways, and many young people got turned off.
Second, it's hard to be very excited about a policy that has you moving back with your parents or on their health insurance policy. The American tradition is that young people became economically independent from their parents rather than live in their basements for lack of a good job.
I just hope that the 2016 GOP nominee talks about growth and job creation, because that's what young people want to hear after years of "hope and change."