Poll: Is the youth vote slowly turning to Romney?

Yesterday, I wondered whether the almost 17 percent youth unemployment rate would do anything to check the type of overwhelming support President Obama received from young people in 2008. Apparently, there’s ‘hope’ for us young people yet — Obama received a whopping 66 percent of the youth vote the first time around, and while he still has the lead over Romney, that level of support is slipping pretty drastically. From the Wash Examiner:

Pollster John Zogby of JZ Analytics told Secrets Tuesday that Romney received 41 percent in his weekend poll of 1,117 likely voters, for the first time crossing the 40 percent mark. What’s more, he said that Romney is the only Republican of those who competed in the primaries to score so high among 18-29 year olds.

“This is the first time I am seeing Romney’s numbers this high among 18-29 year olds,” said Zogby. “This could be trouble for Obama who needs every young voter he can get.” …

In his latest poll, Obama receives just 49 percent of the youth vote when pitted against Romney, who received 41 percent.

Yupp — it lookin’ more and more like the youths are increasingly disillusioned with the poor results of President Obama’s policies, and I can’t imagine that the Paul Ryan VP pick will do anything to deter young people. I’m sure Team Obama is going to try to entice the youth with more student-loan blather and demonize Romney/Ryan on that score, but right now the main discussion is all about convincing seniors they should be terrified of Ryan because of his Medicare plans — but to youths, that’s a reminder that we’re currently paying into a system that everyone agrees isn’t going to be solvent for us when we reach that age (Ryan is speaking at his alma mater, Miami University of Ohio, later this evening; I’ll be interested to see how he frames the student-loan and entitlement debates to a more youthful audience).

In that same vein, there’s another poll out this morning that speaks to all eligible voters’ lack of enthusiasm in this election: Even if they’re vague Obama-supporters, people just aren’t getting riled up about making it out to the polls.

A nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of people who are eligible to vote but aren’t likely to do so finds that these stay-at-home Americans back Obama’s re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1. Two-thirds of them say they are registered to vote. Eight in 10 say the government plays an important role in their lives. …

Even in 2008, when turnout was the highest in any presidential election since 1960, almost 80 million eligible citizens didn’t vote. Curtis Gans, director of the non-partisan Center for the Study of the American Electorate, predicts that number will rise significantly this year. He says turnout could ebb to levels similar to 2000, when only 54.2% of those eligible to vote cast a ballot. That was up a bit from 1996, which had the lowest turnout since 1924.

This year, perhaps 90 million Americans who could vote won’t. “The long-term trend tends to be awful,” Gans says. “There’s a lot of lack of trust in our leaders, a lack of positive feelings about political institutions, a lack of quality education for large segments of the public, a lack of civic education, the fragmenting effects of waves of communications technology, the cynicism of the coverage of politics — I could go on with a long litany.”