The College Republican National Committee (CRNC) is drawling attention to recent polls that shows President Obama is losing support of a key demographic-the 18-29 year olds. This is also the same demographic that played a significant role in electing him to the Nation’s highest office. The polls show that concerns over government spending, the economy, and Obama’s perceived disinterest in the social issues he championed as a candidate are causing strong dissatisfaction with the President and the Democratic Party.
A recent poll conducted by Gallup found that “approval of Obama is down among all major age groups over the past month, but the drop has been particularly steep—11 points—among adults aged 18-29.”
In another poll released after Gallup’s by Zogby International showed a much more dramatic decline among the youth electorate. According to Zogby, Obama’s approval rating among the 18-29 demographic has dropped from 59% to 41% in just one month—a stunning 18 point drop. “Although Obama’s approval rating declined among all age groups over this period, the drop was by far the steepest among young voters, aged 18-29,” the poll states.
The State of our Nation’s economy, alarming government spending, and the deficit are concerns for young voters. A poll by the Economist/YouGov, which was taken over the last week, highlights these fears among 18-29 year old voters. By a 56-44% margin, young voters say that big government is a bigger threat than big business. Of those polled 83% of young voters say the budget deficit is a big concern for them. This is nearly as high as the number of young people who say the economy is a major concern.
The President’s growing disfavor among young voters is also due to his handling of social issues such as reproductive and gay rights. Obama campaigned on a platform of change and of rejecting political games, which attracted and energized young voters. With Obama and the Democrats controlling both Chambers by strong margins yet little attention given to social issues voters are becoming impatient. The Zogby poll found that only 15% of young people approve of the job the Democratic Congress is doing. More concerning for Obama and the Democrats is the fact that more and more young voters are becoming disillusioned with the President. By a 52-48% margin, young people say that Obama says what he thinks people want to hear rather than what he actually believes.
The College Republican National Committee expresses optimize that these new numbers could indicate a substantial opportunity to woo a demographic that has proven their success in political mobilization. The result of these polls shows that the Republican Party’s fiscal conservatism positions and small government should resonate with these voters. However, the poll also shows that while they are unhappy at Obama’s lack of follow through on social issues, they still strongly support those issues. In order for the Republican Party to make a creditable appeal to this next generation we must also embrace the founding Republican principle of personal freedoms. Our party will only gain those dissatisfied youth voters through a message of sound economic principles and social moderate positions.