Younger Americans lean toward liberalism but Obama support lags

February 24, 2010

USA/

Today’s young Americans are the most likely of any generation to identify themselves as liberals. But their political enthusiasm for President Barack Obama and the Democrats appears to be waning.

That’s one finding in a wide-ranging Pew Research Center poll of so-called “Millennials,” the 18 to 29 year olds now making the passage into adulthood.

Young voters overwhemlingly supported Obama in 2008 in hopes that he would change the way Washington works. But more than a year into the Obama presidency, their political enthusiasm has cooled with the realization that Washington is still the same. Three in 10 blame Obama for the failure, while more than half say the president’s opponents and special interests are responsible.

That could help explain why the White House has quietly begun laying the groundwork for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, even as offiicials tell Politico that the main focus is the “gathering storm” of the 2010 elections.

As for young America’s characteristics beyond politics, Pew says the 50 million teens and 20-somethings are more racially diverse than older adults, less religious, better educated, more hopeful and almost physically connected to the digital world via cell phones and social networking Web sites.

One more thing for Obama: 37 percent of them are unemployed or otherwise out of the workforce — the highest percentage for that age group in over three decades, according to Pew.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Obama); Reuters/Jason Reed (Obama and Congressional Pages)

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3 comments

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“better educated” Hmmm! – more education, meeting lower standards.

A resent poll found that 60% 18-29 (including college grad.) could not name three branches of goverment. Many could not find Iran on the globe? 45% don’t know who VP Biden is, despite having voted for Obama.

These so-called “Millennials” even with a high degree of education, lack a long life time of observation and common sense.
Looks like Obama has been their crash-course in politics 101.

The “Millennials”, are a politicians dream, “more connected” , that means less likely to developed genuine personal beliefs, negating the act of “figuring”; someone else is always there to answer their questions (liberal teachers, Obama, media…).

President Bush and Obama are correct in saying we need to greatly raise our standards. Unfortunately as institutions and the administration try to do just that organizations like the ACLU and NAAPC threaten law suits (Nevada for example).

Our Pres. is a refection of his base: higher education, less experience, “more racially diverse”, in other words wavering and self conflicting.

Posted by grr | Report as abusive

grr,

Please provide the cite to the polling data you have posted.

Of course the “Millennials” do not have a long lifetime of observation, they have yet to live a long lifetime. The article denotes the group as “…now making the passage into adulthood.”

There are a few missteps in your logic. Having greater access to more people (being “more connected”) provides greater access to information. How does having more information diminish personal beliefs (or the figuring thereof)? If anything, having greater access to ideas and forums with which to debate those ideas augments the “act of figuring”, it does not negate it. Liberal teachers and Obama are not the only ones with access to cell phones and social networking sites.

It’s unclear why you’ve decided to include the ACLU and NAACP. The article does not refer to them.

Again, there is a misstep in logic with your accusation. How does having a higher education or being racially diverse equate to wavering? How do they equate to being self-conflicted? And, you contradict yourself! One cannot be self-conflicted without trying to figure something out!

Posted by TG18 | Report as abusive

Bush and Cheney said we need to raise standards, Bush got into schools because of his family and left with gentleman C’s Ivy talk for being stupid but rich.

Cheney stayed in school long enough to avoid the draft, and grrr spells recent as resent while complaining about dumb kids.

I have one son working at a start up and another in a phd program that will keep America strong long after Cheney and Bush are just a bad memory.

Posted by jstaf | Report as abusive