Michael Barone

It's not hard to come up with plausible reasons for these changes. Obama campaigned as the champion of "hope and change" in 2008 and assured crowds of young people, "We are the change we are seeking."

But the change they have seen is anything but hopeful. Youth unemployment rates have been at historic highs. Young people have seen their college degrees produce little in the way of job offers.

They are choosing more often to keep living with their parents. From the Obama Democrats they have gotten only a promise that "children" up to age 26 can stay on Mommy and Daddy's health insurance plans.

In the wake of the 2008 election, I argued that there was a tension between the way Millennials lived their lives -- creating their own iPod playlists, designing their own Facebook pages -- and the one-size-fits-all, industrial-era welfare state policies of the Obama Democrats.

Instead of allowing Millennials space in which they can choose their own futures, the Obama Democrats' policies have produced a low-growth economy in which their alternatives are limited and they are forced to make do with what they can scrounge.

There is little evidence that the Millennials believe their plight can be relieved and opportunities opened up by slapping higher taxes on Bill Gates and Steve Jobs or by restricting deductions for corporate jets, as Barack Obama urged in his Monday night speech calling for tax increases (although Senate Democrats gave up on them) in debt-ceiling legislation.

The intended purpose of legislation like the stimulus package and Obamacare was to improve the situations of those least able to take care of themselves -- the young, the less educated, the low-skilled. But it is just such groups that, the Pew Research Center numbers show, have been moving away from the president's party. An instructive achievement, no?

Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM