02.24.2012 0

New poll says Obama has fallen out of favor with millennials

By Rebecca DiFede — It’s no secret that a large basis of Obama’s election was his widespread approval rating among young people. Colleges all across the country sprung to life in an effort to support his campaign, and soon his likeness was as ubiquitous on campus as the red Solo cup.

Being in college during Obama’s campaign was like living in a product placement ad. Everywhere I looked, there was a person, place or thing sporting some form of Obama swag.

From students with sweatshirts and buttons, to buildings with banners and posters, and even the monitors in the student union were updated with news of his climbing in the polls. All of his speeches were shown on the big screen in one of the dining rooms, and people crammed in like sardines to catch the cleverly rehearsed snippets of his Harvard education.

When he finally arrived at my alma mater, American University, to give a speech, it was as if Jesus Himself had agreed to appear and perform miracles for anyone who could get in.  Although the speech was not due to start until noon, a line began to form outside the arena around 7 AM, and stretched all the way across campus, and halfway down Massachusetts Avenue.

I, for one, was appalled. I couldn’t understand how students who could barely get it together to roll out of bed for their 2 pm classes could start standing in line at 7 AM complete with tents, blankets and board games. Especially to listen to what amounted to the musings of a political sock puppet. Did they know something I didn’t?

I realized that it wasn’t something they knew, but something they perceived that I, as a Republican, had never even considered. Many of my college counterparts had voted for Obama because they “thought he was cool.”

Now, call me old fashioned, but I think a lot of people are cool that I would never in a million years want elected president. For example, I think Ozzy Osbourne is an incredible musician and I admire him very much, but given the chance I would not select him to lead my nation. There are many other necessary qualities to a world leader than how often they tweet or whether or not they have a smartphone.

But as years went by, the rose colored glasses began to defog, and the Frisbee playing, Tom’s shoes-wearing hipsters that had so ardently supported Obama began to wake up and realize what he was really doing to them. That hope and change they had toasted to on election night was nothing more than a burned out memory, and they seem to be a bit upset about it.

College students are a group that is largely affected by the failing economy because of the future of their loans and their ability to gain employment post-graduation, and they also stand to be the next generation of America’s decision makers. As such, they play a critical role in the election process of a potential candidate because the candidates supported by the millennial generation (ages 18-29), could show the direction that the country is headed in terms of leadership and policy trends.

When Obama was inaugurated in 2009, his approval rating among millennials was 73 percent, according to Pew Research. Quite an impressive hold on an instinctively impressionable and judgmental age bracket. However, just one year later in Feb. 2010, the rating had fallen to 57 percent.

According to a poll done by Generation Opportunity in April 2011, only 24 percent of millennials approve of the direction that the country is headed,. Now, after one more year and trillions of dollars invested in sinking our economy to the floor, millennials largely expect Obama to lose this year, according to a Dec. 2011 poll by Institute of Politics at Harvard University. Only 30 percent expect he’ll win.

Obama’s major cheering section is now defecting, many saying that they felt let down by the fact that he had promised so much, and delivered on so little. Ah what simple little sheep! Given the supposed path to a better life, they fell in line and marched on, without so much as a glance into the direction they were going. And now, four years later, their sheep dog has led them not to the forest of hope and change they were looking for, but to the dried out desert of economic turmoil.

Nobody likes to be deceived, especially a generation who is so aware of the impact that their opinions can have on the world in the wake of the explosion of social media platforms. So they have been lighting up the blogosphere, voicing their displeasure with our illustrious president in the one forum where every voice is heard, and consequently where their entire generation currently resides: the internet.

Countless mysteries have been solved, bets settled and millions made using the internet, and now with the millennials providing the proverbial swing category in the election, the internet buzz may just help to settle the next president of the United States.

As for me, I’m sticking to my roots… I’m voting for Pedro.

Rebecca DiFede is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.

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