While Mitt Romney missed benchmarks with many disparate demographic groups on Election Day, the Republican Party might be said to have a single, overriding challenge moving forward: to adjust to generational change. Over the last decade, a wave of new, diverse, and socially moderate voters has reshaped the electorate, allowing President Obama to win the popular vote without much, if any, improvement over John Kerry among voters who were eligible to participate in the 2004 presidential election. Romney won voters over age 30 by a 1.5-point margin, but their slight preference for the Republican nominee was swamped by Obama’s decisive 24-point victory among 18-29 year old voters.
Young voters represented a greater share of the national electorate Tuesday than four years ago, once again voting for President Barack Obama by a huge margin, boosting his reelection.
Voters from ages 18 to 29 represented 19 percent of all those who voted on Tuesday, according to the early National Exit Poll conducted by Edison Research. That’s an increase of one percentage point from 2008. Obama captured 60 percent youth vote, compared with Mitt Romney’s 36 percent.
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- Question 1: Higher Ed/Student Loans I’m glad Stafford loan rates were kept low but so many Higher Ed issues aren’t being addressed, such as Why are interest rates on federal college loans so high, (e.g., the Direct PLUS Loan for Parents, etc.) despite interest rates being at record lows? And why, except in cases of extreme hardship, is it that private and federal college loans can’t be discharged in bankruptcy, whereas just about every other type of debt can be? How would you remedy these inequalities? If elected, what difference would high school and college age students see in the cost and affordability of a college education? — A combination of questions submitted by Jon D., 29 from NY, and Nikki R., 23, FL.
- Question 2: Other/Character What contribution would you most like to make to the world before you would leave the office of President? — Question submitted by a group of students from MA: Derek, 18, Stacey, 17, Tynisha, 18, Shaquille, 17, and Demetrius 16.
- Question 3: Economy/Jobs The unemployment rate of Millennials is 12%. This is a huge issue for us young Americans and doesn’t seem to be ringing any real alarm bells. It’s a whole generation that wants work, but can’t find it. What is the master plan to change the prospects for people like me? — Question submitted by J.D., 26, from NJ
- Question 4: Education/Student Loans It has become more difficult for poor students to get a Pell grant. What is the future of Pell grants with you as President? — Question submitted by Michelle M., 34 from CA.
- Question 5: Economy: Government Spending/Taxes/National Debt What are your plans to address the mounting federal debt in a way that enables our nation to meet the critical needs of vulnerable people with disabilities and their families? Do you support a balanced approach that includes both spending reductions and increased revenues? — Question submitted by Marian K., 25, from FL.
- Closing Statement President Obama summarizes his plans for the future of America’s youth.
PPP: Obama now up 66/33 with young voters
Obama holds a 64%-31% lead among under-35 voters nationally, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll released Thursday. In 2008, the under-35 crowd favored Obama 55%-42%, according to a pre-conventions poll.
Current TV | The War Room with Jennifer Granholm
12,500 young people turn 18 every day and the key to November’s election will be registering them, then turning them out to vote. “If young people don’t think their vote is powerful, all they have to do is watch the news right now and see how hard so many people are working to take their vote away from them,”
Young Americans are at the foundation of this campaign. In 2008, young people came together to organize and lead a movement for change that helped Barack Obama win a historic election. Now, three years later, even more is at stake. We need to grow faster and fight harder to protect the progress we’ve made and continue to work for more. Young activists will lead the grassroots effort across the country to build this campaign for 2012 from the ground up.
With our help, President Obama has successfully repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to allow gay men and women to serve openly in the military. We instituted health care reform with the Affordable Care Act, which allows young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26. The President has set forth clear plans to extend employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged young people through summer job and training programs, invest billions in public schools and community colleges, cut taxes for youth-owned small businesses, and strengthen our economy.
But our work isn’t over—we need to come together to defend the progress we’ve made and fight for more. The 2012 election will depend on us, as a generation of young leaders, to get the word out about the kind of politics we want to see. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for, and we’re greater together.