A very large proportion of recent university graduates have soured on President Barack Obama, and many will vote GOP or stay at home in the 2012 election, according to two new surveys of younger voters.
â??These rock-solid Obama constituents are free-agents,â?? said Kellyanne Conway, president of The Polling Company, based in Washington, D.C. She recently completed a large survey of college grads, and â??theyâ??re shopping around, considering their options, [and] a fair number will say at home and sit it out,â?? she said.
The scope of this disengagement from Obama is suggested by an informal survey of 500 post-grads by Joe Maddalone, founder of Maddalone Global Strategies. Of his sample, 93 percent are aged between 22 and 28, 67 percent are male and 83 percent voted for Obama in 2008. But only 27 percent are committed to voting for Obama again, and 80 percent said they would consider voting for a Republican, said New York-based Maddalone.
Thatâ??s a drop of almost 60 points in support for Obama among this influential class of younger post-grad voters, who Maddalone recruited at conferences held at New York University and Thomson-Reutersâ?? New York headquarters.
This is a fairly small sample, but the number is staggering: only 27% are committed to voting for Obama again, and 80% said they would consider voting for a a Republican.
Young voters are notoriously unreliable, so it will be difficult or predict how the "youth vote" will behave between now and election time. With that said, much of "Hope and Change" was the turnout for what really was seen by young people as a cultural event more than an election. 2012 will be no such cultural event - just a plain, old-fashioned election - and young voters who have no jobs and mountains of debt appear to more than a little grumpy.
Do they stay at home? In any event, Obama - who is losing steam among adults in important swing states - can't afford for the young hipsters to sit this one out or switch teams.