‘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
Add to Briefcase
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 »
TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Statehood, Metro Come Up as Bowser Meets Trump
2 minutes ago
THE LATEST

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser met with Donald Trump this morning in Manhattan, with statehood and the Metro system on the agenda. “We talked about the things that are important to Washingtonians, and certainly becoming the 51st state is one of them," she said after the meeting. She also made the point that the District is “not dependent on the federal government for our funds," and brought up funding for Metro. She told reporters that Trump is a fan of D.C.

Source:
EVENT IN NC
Mattis Gets the Official Nod Tonight
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE
LOWER COURT TO DETERMINE NEW DAMAGES
SCOTUS Sides with Samsung Over Apple
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A unanimous Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with smartphone maker Samsung in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple over design of the iPhone. The justices said Samsung may not be required to pay all the profits it earned from 11 phone models because the features at issue are only a tiny part of the devices. Apple had won a $399 million judgment against Samsung for copying parts of the iPhone's patented design, but the case now returns to a lower court to decide what Samsung must pay."

Source:
AFRAID OF BUDGET CUTS
Pentagon Hid Evidence of Waste
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post."

Source:
TRUMP IS “NOT QUALIFIED FOR THE OFFICE”
Texas GOP Elector Won’t Cast Vote For Trump
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Christopher Suprun, a GOP elector from Texas, announced in an op-ed for The New York Times that he will not cast his vote in the electoral college for Donald Trump. This one vote will not keep Trump from getting to the 270 necessary to secure an electoral victory, but stands as a strong statement of rebuke. "I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office," Suprun wrote.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login