A recent informal survey of 500 post-grads primarily between the ages of 22 and 28 — 83 percent of whom voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 — found just 27 percent of Obama’s previous youth supporters plan to vote for him again, The Daily Caller reports. That’s a drop of almost 60 points.
In contrast, of those who voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008, a vast majority — 80 percent — said they would vote GOP again. An 80 percent majority of those newly disillusioned by Obama said they would consider voting for a Republican in 2012, too.
Why the change? Probably that first paycheck — or the lack thereof.
The bad news for Obama was underlined May 19 with a report by a job-firm Adecco that roughly 60 percent of recent college-grads have not been able to find a full-time job in their preferred area. One-in-five graduates have taken jobs far from their training, one-in-six are dependent on their parents, and one-in-four say they’re in debt, according to the firm’s data.
Overall, roughly one-third of young voters have some college education, and one-half have college degrees, said [Kellyanne] Conway, [president of The Polling Company based in Washington D.C.]. Many are underemployed or unemployed, they’re worried about their debts and economic trends, and they’re worried about the value of their educations, she said. In 2012, she said, “I suspect a fair number will return to Obama, but maybe not enough, and not in the [swing] states where he needs them,” she said.
But maybe another factor is at work here, too. J. Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs with Liberty Counsel, has suggested young people have no direction in which to rebel — except to the right.
[Today’s liberals] compliantly conform – like little windup, patchouli-daubed lemmings – to a carnival-prize caricature of what they imagine nonconformity to look like. You know, the usual stuff: neo-Marxism, environmentalist activism, sexual relativism, big-government nanny statism, an actions-without-consequences rendering of reproductive rights, and other such populist nonsense. Simply put, today’s progressive nonconformist conforms …
So what is a young person – brimming over with that instinctive, defiant impulse to rebel against “the man” – to do?
Well, in this up-is-down, spend-money-to-save-money world, conservatives have become the contemporary nonconformists. Today’s rebellious youth are telling the progressive establishment to put its moral-relativist, redistributionist party-line pig swill in its well-used chamber pipe and smoke it.
I’m inclined to think he could be on to something. Independence, self-reliance, personal responsibility — they’re attractive traits. Maybe folks my age have finally figured out a little of that mix would be attractive in them, too. We’re probably a long way from a true “conservative is cool” culture — as Barber points out, we have pretty entrenched liberalism in media, academia and elsewhere to overcome — but, at the very least, this survey suggests a few of those kids who sported “Yes, we can” T-shirts two years ago have decided they’d like to try their own hand at “hope and change” by creating opportunities for themselves — and by voting out an administration that makes it harder to do that.