‘Meh’: Millennials Skipping Midterm Elections

President Obama’s coalition isn’t turning out for congressional elections.

President Obama ended a two-day college tour with an event at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion on August 29, 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The President talked about the choice for young voters in this election between two fundamentally different visions and the importance of registering to vote. 
National Journal
Ron Fournier
April 29, 2014, 5:43 a.m.

The per­cent­age of young Amer­ic­ans plan­ning to vote in Novem­ber de­clined sharply in the past five months, es­pe­cially among Demo­crat­ic con­stitu­en­cies, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of­fer­ing fur­ther evid­ence that Pres­id­ent Obama’s co­ali­tion may not trans­late down bal­lot.

In­creas­ingly cyn­ic­al about the polit­ic­al pro­cess, mem­bers of the mil­len­ni­al gen­er­a­tion are re­port­ing the low­est level of in­terest in any elec­tion since Har­vard Uni­versity’s In­sti­tute of Polit­ics began track­ing them in 2000.

Des­pite a slight re­cov­ery in Obama’s ap­prov­al rat­ing among young voters, the IOP sur­vey found that just 23 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans between the ages of 18 and 29 say they will “def­in­itely be vot­ing” in the Novem­ber elec­tions. That is an 11-point de­cline since the fall, when the IOP last sur­veyed a broad cross sec­tion of young adults.

At the same point in the 2010 elec­tion cycle, 31 per­cent of young adults said they would vote. Few­er ac­tu­ally cast bal­lots: Ac­cord­ing to U.S. Census Bur­eau es­tim­ates sum­mar­ized by CIRCLE, 24 per­cent of 18- to 29-year-olds voted in the 2010 elec­tion, a de­crease of 1.5 per­cent­age points from 2006.

“It’s been clear for some time now that young people are grow­ing more dis­il­lu­sioned and dis­con­nec­ted from Wash­ing­ton,” said IOP Polling Dir­ect­or John Della Volpe. “There’s an erosion of trust in the in­di­vidu­als and in­sti­tu­tions that make gov­ern­ment work — and now we see the low­est level of in­terest in any elec­tion we’ve meas­ured since 2000.”

Young Re­pub­lic­ans ap­pear more en­thu­si­ast­ic about the midterms than young Demo­crats. For in­stance, 44 per­cent of those who voted for GOP pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate Mitt Rom­ney in 2012 say they are def­in­itely vot­ing in Novem­ber, com­pared with just 35 per­cent of the 2012 Obama voters.

Self-iden­ti­fied con­ser­vat­ives are 10 points more likely to vote than lib­er­als, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey. Young men are 9 points more likely to vote than young wo­men. Whites are 8 points more likely to vote than blacks and His­pan­ics. Each trend fa­vors the GOP co­ali­tion.

The poll found Obama had an ap­prov­al rat­ing of 47 per­cent, up 6 points from his low last fall but still be­low his level of 12 months ago. Ap­prov­al for his sig­na­ture health care law re­boun­ded 5 points to 39 per­cent.

The on­line sur­vey of 3,058 18- to 29-year-old U.S. cit­izens has a mar­gin of er­ror of 1.8 per­cent­age points. It was con­duc­ted by GfK and IOP between March 22 and April 4, with in­put from IOP un­der­gradu­ates, as part of a com­pre­hens­ive study of mil­len­ni­al polit­ic­al and so­cial at­ti­tudes launched in 2000.

RE­LATED: “How Obama Lost the Mil­len­ni­al Gen­er­a­tion.”

Ron Fourni­er serves on the Har­vard IOP ad­vis­ory board.

What We're Following See More »
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
2 days ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
THE LAST ROUND OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS
Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
1 days ago
THE LATEST

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.
IT’S ALL ABOUT SECOND PLACE
CNN Calls the Primary for Sanders and Trump
21 hours ago
THE LATEST

Well that didn’t take long. CNN has already declared Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump the winners of the New Hampshire primary, leaving the rest of the candidates to fight for the scraps. Five minutes later, the Associated Press echoed CNN’s call.

Source:
×