Reason's Nick Gillespie has an important article on Daily Beast that highlights an under-reported fact about President Obama and young voters -- they are increasingly estranged.
"It’s like totally official, now, bro: Even the young Americans who were central to Barack Obama’s election in 2008 and 2012 are sick of the president, with a large and growing majority disapproving of the job he’s doing. In this, they’re just like their elders," Gillespie writes.
Citing a recent Quinnipiac Poll, Gillespie notes that "only 36 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 approve of the job the president is doing while fully 54 percent of the kids give him the thumbs down ... Back in March 2009, 62 percent of 18 to 29 years approved, compared to just 20 percent disapproving."
No, it's not just Obamacare
The conventional wisdom is that the disastrous Obamacare rollout explains the fall-off in Millennial support for Obama.
But Gillespie puts the lie to that faux wisdom by noting Millennial support for Obama began dropping almost as soon as he took his hand off the inaugural Bible in 2009:
"In 2008, Obama won 66 percent of votes cast by 18-29 year olds. In 2012, he racked up just 60 percent. More tellingly, the participation rate among younger voters dropped precipitously between those elections, with Obama pulling 2.4 million fewer votes from 18-29 year olds in 2012."
No surprise to the wise
These developments don't come as a shock to those familiar with how Millennial attitudes are shaped by, as Don Tapscott (no relation) put it in his book by the same title, "grown up digital."
Millennials especially esteem values like entrepreneurialism, individual autonomy, personal honesty, and decentralization — intrinsically conservative values all.
The only surprise there is the paucity of leaders on the Right who recognize this reality and shape their messaging and programs accordingly. It's not like this is fresh news, as I wrote this column making these points three years ago.
Then there's entitlements
Another factor is driving this phenomenon, and it will play a progressively stronger role in the years ahead — the entitlement crisis.
Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post has for several years referred to the Millennials as the "Chump Generation."
That's because the burden of paying for the Baby Boomer generation's retirement will fall mainly on the Millennials and it won't be an easy load to carry.
Three years ago, Samuelson asked: "Their ardor for Obama is already cooling. Will higher taxes dim their enthusiasm for government?"
The answer is yes, as Gillespie makes clear. Next question: When are conservatives going to wake up to this fact?
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
Byron York: GOP governors bash Washington GOP.
Philip Klein: California Obamacare signups are disproportionately older.
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