Enthusiastic young people paved the way for an Obama victory in 2008. From the viral “Crush on Obama” YouTube video featuring a bikini-clad young woman to the popular Obama-inspired rap videos, the Internet was buzzing with excitement over Obama’s message of “hope and change.” Fast-forward four years, and Obama has lost much his rock star appeal to millennials.
Obama won 66 percent of the youth vote in 2008. But many of these young voters are now experiencing buyer’s remorse. A poll from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics reveals that among college-aged youth, only 50 percent approve of Obama’s overall performance and 39 percent approve of his handling of the economy. Even the Obama Girl says her crush on Obama has faded and she declined to endorse him in 2012.
Everyone makes mistakes in their youth, but making the same mistake twice is unforgivable.
Obama’s 2008 young voters are finding little hope and change in this fragile economy. According to National Journal, an overwhelming 58 percent of young voters list “jobs and the economy” as the most important issue for them in this election. That’s bad news for Obama’s re-election chances, since he has presided over the highest youth unemployment rate in recent history.
The youth unemployment rate for July 2012 is 12.7 percent, according to the Department of Labor. This already high percentage doesn’t even include the 1.715 million young adults who have lost all hope and stopped looking for work altogether. If all the out of work college grads stuck in mom and dad’s basement surviving on Ramen noodles were factored in, the youth unemployment rate would be over 16 percent.
Hope and change? More like desperate and broke.
But this is so much more than young people becoming disillusioned with Obama. He’s just one man. More importantly, young people are turning away from Obama’s statist ideology. And it’s about time.
Generation Y is the first generation to grow up with the Internet, providing a seemingly infinite amount of options for songs, books, YouTube videos, social networks, and blogs. Young people love being free to choose in the marketplace.
Julie Borowski is a Policy Analyst at FreedomWorks, an organization dedicated to lower taxes, less government, and more freedom. Her writings on economic policy have appeared in numerous newspapers and online outlets. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Coalition to Reduce Spending and she launched an independent YouTube channel called TokenLibertarianGirl in June 2011.
She was previously selected to be a Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow with the Institute for Humane Studies where she worked at the Center for Competitive Politics. Most recently, she was a government affairs associate at Americans for Tax Reform.
Julie has volunteered for political candidates in Kentucky and in her home state of Maryland. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Frostburg State University in May 2010 where she studied political science, economics and international studies. She is now located in Washington, D.C.