Obama and young voters: Why all the love lost?

at 04:45 PM ET, 10/28/2011

President Obama’s support among young voters has dropped 32 percent since 2009, the Fix’s Aaron Blake wrote Thursday.

How did President Obama’s approval numbers fall so sharply among a demographic that voted for him in record numbers in 2008? And how can he regain their support in 2012?

We asked Twitter, Facebook and Quora followers to weigh in. Here is what you had to say.

“The bigger he was, the harder he had to fall”

Quora user Joshua Engel wrote that “improbably high positives” doomed Obama’s chances of maintaining support.

The bigger he was, the harder he had to fall. Approval ratings are potentially misleading because of it: people opposing Obama from the left, rather than the right, would be stupid to vote for the candidate from the far right. They will, however, lead to an enthusiasm gap. It’s very hard to predict how that will affect the outcome of a reelection campaign, though I think it’s safe to say that absolute turnout for him will be lower than last time...
Welcome to politics, kids. Holding up signs is the fun part. Governing sucks

Twitter user Andrew Kearney had a similar outlook on younger voters and Obama in 2012.

@TheFix Less enthusiastic, but show me a viable alternative. It depends on that all-important TURNOUT.Thu Oct 27 19:22:47 via web

Economy, economy, economy

Quora user Robert George wrote:

Like all other voters, young voters are upset that the economy isn’t doing well and they can’t find jobs. That is going to reduce his support with all voting groups. But there doesn’t appear to be any reason to think Obama has done something special to disappoint young voters at this point.

And Chris Weigl wrote:

You could attribute individual policies to his decline, but I don’t think that young people are as concerned about individual policies as much as they are with the daunting task that they face in the new American economy...

Out of touch?

Quora respondent Barry Hampe of the Cato Institute wrote the president lost his cool factor after he was elected.

Obama was the voice of optimism on the stump. But since taking office he’s sounded more and more like a not very interesting professor or, even worse, like America’s father. Not a lot of appeal for young voters in either of those personas.

Do you agree with the respondents’ comments on why young voters aren’t as supportive of Obama as they were in the last election cycle? Tell us if you think the president can win back their support on Twitter using #campaign2012 or add to the discussion on Quora.

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