Paul Bently, Dail Mail (London), June 7, 2011
President Barack Obama famously won the 2008 election on a wave of support from America’s youth.
But any hopes the 49-year-old had of keeping down with the kids appear to have faded–his support from young people is rapidly waning, a poll has found.
And for a man known for his ‘jacket off’ casual style the reason for this slump may be particularly hurtful–students are abandoning the President because they do not think he is cool anymore, it has been claimed.
According to the National Journal’s Ronald Brownstein report, President Obama has dramatically lost support from young people–and particularly young white people–in America since 2008.
His approval rating among those aged 18 to 29 is currently at 56 per cent–a huge fall of ten points since the 2008 exit polls.
And this comes in stark contrast to Obama’s general approval rating levels, which are pretty consistent with those of 2008.
The reason for this sudden drop is because students, who rushed behind the Obama campaign in 2008, no longer think he is cool, according to those at Oberlin College, which is known for its hipster left-wing activism.
Four undergraduate editors at the college newspaper signed an essay bemoaning how apolitical their peers had become,according to the New York Times.
Their argument in their piece, ‘Oberlin-based Perspectives on the Obama Presidency’, was that students had become disenfranchised because they no longer think the President is cool.
The problem is that the real Obama could never live up to the pre-office idea of him, with all his quirks now seen as grating, a political science professor explained.
Even the death of Osama Bin Laden did not impress students, who protested that the Al Qaeda leader should not have been shot because he was unarmed.
The Brownstein report, however, argues that the loss of the youth vote will not be crucial to his hopes for re-election.
In 2008, voters aged 18 to 24 turned out at a rate of 49 per cent, but without their vote the only significant states Obama would have lost would have been North Carolina and Indiana, according to the Atlantic Wire.
Obama won because he stole large shares of older people’s votes as well, research suggests.
In Virginia, for example, he reached 55 per cent of seniors, whereas John McCain wooed just 45 per cent.
The Obama campaign denied that the President had lost his support from young people, pointing out that its summer organiser programme has had more applications this year than ever before.