Gallup: Youth-vote enthusiasm off by 20 points from 2008

posted at 12:01 pm on July 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

In 2008, Barack Obama rode a wave of youth-vote enthusiasm for “Hope and Change” to a seven-point win in the national popular vote.  A new poll from Gallup shows that the hope has pretty much dissipated — and Obama might not like the change that has resulted:

 Fifty-eight percent of U.S. registered voters aged 18 to 29 say they will “definitely vote” this fall, well below the current national average of 78% and far below 18- to 29-year-olds’ voting intentions in the fall of 2004 and 2008. The 20-percentage-point deficit for young voters versus the national average compares unfavorably with six- and seven-point deficits in the later stages of the 2004 and 2008 elections, respectively.

Young voters were one of the key groups in President Obama’s winning 2008 coalition. They widely support the president this year as well, but historically their turnout levels usually lag behind those of other groups. Thus, the question surrounding young voters is not so much whom they will support as whether they will officially register that support in the voting booth.

The 20-point deficit in turnout intentions for young voters compared with the current national average is the largest among major demographic subgroups.

It’s actually the worst performance in the last three cycles for this demographic — and by a wide margin, and not just in relation to overall enthusiasm.  In 2004, when George Bush narrowly defeated John Kerry, 81% of registered voters under 30 said they would definitely cast a ballot in the election.  The 2008 cycle actually showed a bit of a decline, down to 78%, but about the same relative position to overall enthusiasm.

Younger voters have the poorest turnout percentages anyway, but a drop to 58% portends the worst turnout in a generation for this demographic, which would be a huge blow to Obama’s re-election chances.  It also indicates that Team Obama may find it much more difficult to get volunteers to organize on their behalf.  Many of these potential voters are likely more focused on finding an income in an economy that simply isn’t generating any jobs, especially for those entering the workforce — which also would explain the steep drop in planned participation in the upcoming election.

The poll has more bad news for Obama.  Middle-aged and senior voters have the highest enthusiasm numbers relative to the average in the past three cycles.  Both are at 85% in the Gallup poll, a +7 relative to overall enthusiasm.  For seniors, the enthusiasm level is actually an increase from 2008′s 83%.  This demographic usually turns out strongest, and in most polls is the most hostile to Obama.

Obama gets further bad news in the ethnic demographics:

Racial and ethnic minorities are another subgroup whose higher turnout in 2008 helped Obama win the presidency. This is especially true for blacks, whose support for Obama exceeded 90%. The percentage of blacks who say they will definitely vote is similar to the national average this year (76% versus 78%), as it was in prior years. However, as with most other groups, it is lower now than it was in the fall of 2004 and 2008.

Non-Hispanic whites are slightly more enthusiastic than the average, a +3 at 81%.  Hispanics, whom Obama has assiduously courted (and in some cases pandered), are considerably less enthusiastic than in 2008, both in the percentage (64%, down 13 points from 2008) and relative to overall enthusiasm (-14, down from -8).  Enthusiasm among black voters dropped 11 points since 2008, and went from +2 relative to the overall average in 2008 to -2 in 2012.  After this week, it’s not likely to bounce upward, either:

The black leaders that attended the NAACP Convention here Thursday heaped praise on Vice President Joe Biden for a heated morning speech, but one question quietly pervaded the gathering: Where was President Obama?

Obama’s decision to skip the annual convention in the heat of his re-election bid has been a point of constant speculation here in recent days, providing a sort of microcosm for how the black community views the nation’s first African-American president as he nears the end of his first term. …

But one former Obama administration official noted to BuzzFeed that the move looked like a snub.

“Even considering the politics here, it seems odd that the first African-American President is sending his vice president to address the NAACP national convention in an election year,” the official said.

Most of the convention’s audience, comprised of black civic leaders, business owners, and community activists, were reluctant to criticize Obama to the press, even as they complained about his neglect off the record — a reflection of a sense of protectiveness among many African-Americans, and an understanding that Obama must at times disappoint.

Clearly, Obama has been disappointing many within his 2008 voter coalition — and that will be a huge problem in November if Obama can’t figure out how to reignite their enthusiasm.


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Oomf.

BigGator5 on July 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM

It seems like every election everyone is talking about how important the youth vote is going to be…and then it never is. What’s really important is how the youth are gonna vote in 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years.

red_herring on July 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM

…if Obama can’t figure out how to reignite their enthusiasm.

Oh I believe they have plans for this, and it’s going to be…historic.

RushBaby on July 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

For seniors, the enthusiasm level is actually an increase from 2008′s 83%. This demographic usually turns out strongest, and in most polls is the most hostile to Obama.

Well, sure! those folks are uninterested in facing a death panel. Who can blame them?

ted c on July 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Fortunately for Obama all the dogs, corpses & illegal aliens have already voted for him in New York, Chicago & Seattle.

Browncoatone on July 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

He will not improve upon any of his numbers from 2008. He’s so over.

JAM on July 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Oh I believe they have plans for this, and it’s going to be…historic.

RushBaby on July 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The dead will rise.

upinak on July 13, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Hope ‘n Change morphed into Fear and Desperation.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM

The black leaders that attended the NAACP Convention here Thursday heaped praise on Vice President Joe Biden

….

“Even considering the politics here, it seems odd that the first African-American President is sending his vice president to address the NAACP national convention in an election year,” the official said

….JugEars SENT his white half!

KOOLAID2 on July 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Here’s one way he gets more illegal votes and wastes more of your hard earned tax money.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The unicorn fairy dust has worn off and the scare tactics are a bit meh. Time to throw some taxpayer money at the problem. How about the forgiveness of all student debt and a promise to pay 50% of all tuition fees for everyone via a tax credit.

Don’t think he’s not capable of doing that.

CorporatePiggy on July 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Nothing a complete bailout of student loan debt won’t fix. It’s amazing what sort of enthusiasm can be accomplished with a trillion bucks worth of bailout.

Bishop on July 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

How’d that minimum wage raise work out for all these folks Mz. Pelosi? How’s Obama’s policies working out for the 50% of graduates that can’t find a job? Tuition cost rising and a new tax for health care? Exciting times for our yutes. (My cousin Vinny)

Rovin on July 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Obama 2008 was a party! The yute vote turns out for parties! The party is over, and they’re experiencing this awful thing known as a hangover. At least they won’t be late for work!

cartooner on July 13, 2012 at 12:14 PM

There’s a lot of other polls out now let’s talk about them! Haha. Really digging for the sunshine.

tommyhawk on July 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

He blew them off because he knows he has their vote in the bag. That should piss them off….but it won’t.

goflyers on July 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

The 20-point deficit in turnout intentions for young voters compared with the current national average is the largest among major demographic subgroups.

Perhaps this is another reason for gutting Welfare Reform. These kids can’t find jobs, so make getting on the dole easy.

In the process he can further imperil the economy which has always been the goal.

Cody1991 on July 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Perhaps a pander might work. That’s what the NAACP wanted and they didn’t really want it delivered by a goofy cracker from Delaware.

a capella on July 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

down twinkles?? oh noesssss!!!!

mittens on July 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM

My daughter is enthusiastic about casting her vote for Romney (and, coincidentally, against barack) here in Virginia. Just turned 20 so it will be her first time voting.

I think the youth who see how the country is going down the tubes will be excited. Those average, TV watching, hanging out at the mall, getting tattoos and getting drunk types probably wont care one way or another.

DuctTapeMyBrain on July 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Are you better off now than you were two four years ago?

Absolutely.

crr6 on May 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Del Dolemonte on July 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Obama is the Cash for Clunkers Pimp and

The Food Stamps Madam (as in whorehouse), all in one

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM

tommyhawk on July 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Troll troll troll your boat..

wargamer6 on July 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Kind of hard to get ginned up over the guy that had a job at Starbucks waiting for you when you graduated from college.

Punchenko on July 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM

San Dimas High School football rules!

Just start ending with that.

Axe on July 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM

There’s a lot of other polls out now let’s talk about them! Haha. Really digging for the sunshine.

tommyhawk on July 13, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Hang in there, young lady, we can only have so many topics going at once. Maybe you could go off and get your nails done, and when you come back we might be talking about those other polls.

Bishop on July 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Hope ‘n Change morphed into Fear and Desperation.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Might be worth trademarking.

Fear ‘n Desperation™

Bmore on July 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Come on kids, you know you want to pay for my entitlements in my senior years. Remember what the President said “Eat Your Peas”….they’re good for you, they’re green after all LOL!

Dr Evil on July 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM

But, ABC told me that “the Democratic base is more energized and engaged.”

midgeorgian on July 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Fortunately for Obama all the dogs, corpses & illegal aliens have already voted for him in New York, Chicago & Seattle.

Browncoatone on July 13, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Maybe not dogs. They are better informed about Obama’s, ahem, preferences than an average urban voter in the abovementioned cities.

Archivarix on July 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Obama needs to take a walk.

Fear ‘n Desperation™

Bmore on July 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM

PimpnMadam™

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Here they come. Democrats will be hosting keggers with bands on college campuses across the country come fall.

jan3 on July 13, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Middle-aged and senior voters have the highest enthusiasm numbers relative to the average in the past three cycles. Both are at 85% in the Gallup poll, a +7 relative to overall enthusiasm. For seniors, the enthusiasm level is actually an increase from 2008′s 83%. This demographic usually turns out strongest, and in most polls is the most hostile to Obama.

Why This Democrat Will Be Voting for Mitt Romney

In 1992, I was the executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. I managed political operations for the Democrats in one of the largest swing states in our nation.

Our nominee, Bill Clinton, went on to win the presidency, and he fostered eight prosperous years in our nation’s history. He delivered balanced budgets and surpluses that reduced the nation’s debt.

Clinton was the type of Democrat I’ve supported my whole life, fiscally conservative while still focused on the needs of the hard-working middle class. Clinton famously declared, “The era of big government is over.” Barack Obama is a completely different kind of Democrat.

In every challenge that faces our nation, Obama sees a solution that can only come with another government-spending program. He fails to harness the ingenuity of entrepreneurs; instead he actually places obstacles, like burdensome regulation, in front of their path to progress…

Flora Duh on July 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM

PimpnMadam™

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Better still. LOL!

Bmore on July 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Legalization of weed coming in 3, 2…..

Wine_N_Dine on July 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM

RON PAUL ’12!!!!!1!

hisfrogness on July 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

A student loan debt “bailout” should get the youth vote back on board. Adding another trillion to the national debt will be less tangible to youth voters than Shiny Free Stuff, and what’s better than a “free” college education?

An October EO ending federal enforcement of pot laws won’t hurt Barry with the youth vote, either.

Disclaimer: I favor leaving legalization or criminalization of marijuana up to individual states, cities, and counties, but in no way would such a move by Soetoro change my opposition to him and his ruinous policies. Broken clocks can still be right twice a day, and so on.

MidniteRambler on July 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

For seniors, the enthusiasm level is actually an increase from 2008′s 83%. This demographic usually turns out strongest, and in most polls is the most hostile to Obama.

..that’s right, sonny! We will be headin’ down to the polls with our canes and walkers and will gum the Black Panther Poll Guards to death if they try to stop us!

You young whipper-snappers!

The War Planner on July 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

….JugEars SENT his white half white half-ass!

KOOLAID2 on July 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM

..Foxtrot India Foxtrot Yankee

The War Planner on July 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

The War Planner on July 13, 2012 at 12:54 PM

(:->)

KOOLAID2 on July 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Clearly, Obama has been disappointing many within his 2008 voter coalition — and that will be a huge problem in November if Obama can’t figure out how to reignite their enthusiasm.

He’ll just do what he’s been doing everywhere else – issue an Executive Order canceling the election.

crazy_legs on July 13, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Bah! Meant to quote that, not strike it out…

crazy_legs on July 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Oh I believe they have plans for this, and it’s going to be…historic.

RushBaby on July 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

World’s biggest toga party.

eyedoc on July 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

RON PAUL ’12!!!!!1!

hisfrogness on July 13, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Floating Rock ’12 !!!!!1!

KOOLAID2 on July 13, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Oh I believe they have plans for this, and it’s going to be…historic.

RushBaby on July 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

…like your name!

KOOLAID2 on July 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Fine with me.

Step aside, kiddies. Let the adults handle this one.

UltimateBob on July 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM

The destruction of opportunity and the American way of life that Obama is inflicting on my kids and grandkids is one of the greatest motivators for me to get ever more involved and to contribute cash to Romney and to conservative candidates.
It looks as if some of the “youth” voters are waking up to the fact that their once hero Obama is nothing but a fraud and a thief who is stealing their future.

GaltBlvnAtty on July 13, 2012 at 1:16 PM

My sister is 18 (I’m 25). She will be voting in this election for the first time. I can tell you the ignorance is still rampant among her age group (our gen) only this time it’s “don’t vote for Obama.” They know who not to vote for, but they don’t know who to vote for either.

RDE2010 on July 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Thank god. We should amend the Constitution to raise the voting age to at least 26. Maybe 30.

Blacklake on July 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Hang in there, young lady, we can only have so many topics going at once. Maybe you could go off and get your nails done, and when you come back we might be talking about those other polls.

Bishop on July 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Oh I get it, you’re on of them wide stance, fake macho teabaggers. No thanks weirdo.

tommyhawk on July 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

..that’s right, sonny! We will be headin’ down to the polls with our canes and walkers and will gum the Black Panther Poll Guards to death if they try to stop us!

You young whipper-snappers!

The War Planner on July 13, 2012 at 12:49 PM

I’m not a senior…yet, but I am a pre-geezer who keeps his “teeth” in an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster. One almost hopes the NBPP tries to start some sh*t. Not in my state, you dirty SOB’s.

SKYFOX on July 13, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Obama is reduced to organ grinding.

Schadenfreude on July 13, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Hmmmm, wonder why……something like the kids want healthcare, student loans, and EBT cards all for free, while us (middle age and up) has paid their own way for the past 200+ years……..

angrymike on July 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Thank god. We should amend the Constitution to raise the voting age to at least 26. Maybe 30.

Blacklake on July 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Politically impossible but a very good idea. I’d also put a cap on the voting age too, say 50, to keep political party reps from “assisting” the elderly in voting for the “correct” candidates.

Browncoatone on July 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

KOOLAID2
My friend, You are in rare form…….. I love it………;-)

angrymike on July 13, 2012 at 3:30 PM

For seniors, the enthusiasm level is actually an increase from 2008′s 83%. This demographic usually turns out strongest, and in most polls is the most hostile to Obama.

Mediscare is coming.

LukeinNE on July 13, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Calling all you seniors out there… it’s time to show up big on election day. You are the ones who can help us get rid of Obama by electing Mitt Romney. Cancel out the clueless idiot “youth” vote which just repeats what it hears on trash comedy tv shows and thinks pot legalization and gay marriage are the defining issues of our time.

bluegill on July 13, 2012 at 4:06 PM