Are the Young Voters abandoning “Hope and Change”
Why would anyone abandon such substance as “Hope and Change?”
WASHINGTON — Young voters who had been enthralled by Barack Obama’s “Yes, we can” message are now saying “Maybe not” — and are backing away from the president in a worrisome new poll for the White House.
Obama is losing in a match-up against a generic Republican challenger by 37 percent to 34 percent among voters in the 18-34 age group, according to a stunning Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday.
In March, voters in this group approved of Obama by 54 percent to 37 percent.
“The youngest age group may be the most impatient and the most easily disillusioned among all age groups,” said Molly Andolina, a youth-vote expert and DePaul University political-science professor.
For many young voters in 2008, “it was the first time they’d been really been involved, really paying attention. This is someone telling them, ‘Yes, you can,’ ” she said.
Two years later, with a prolonged Gulf oil spill, “watching how slow it is to respond may be a little disillusioning,” she added.
Obama won an astounding 66 percent of the vote among the under-30 crowd, according to exit polls tracked by the Pew Research Center, the biggest winning percentage for a candidate since Richard Nixon in 1972.
In other poll results:
* Obama’s overall approval rating is 44 percent, with 48 percent disapproval — his worst score ever in the survey.
* The president trails an unnamed generic Republican among all voters by 39-36 percent.
* Voters disapprove of his handling of immigration by a stark 58-30 percent margin, with 60 percent saying the federal lawsuit against Arizona for its tough immigration crackdown is a bad idea.
* Obama beats Sarah Palin 49-45 percent in a 2012 match-up.
* Thirty-seven percent of voters say the country would be better off with John McCain as president, while 35 percent said it would be worse off.
Critically important independent voters continue to drift away from Obama, and disapprove of him by 52-38 percent.
A year ago, independents backed Obama 52-37.
Obama gets just 39 percent approval of his handling of the economy and 43 percent approval on handling of foreign policy.
Michelle Obama does much better. Her favorability rating is 55-19 percent.