The 2008 election was one of the first where the millennial generation could vote. College campuses were abuzz with excitement and anticipation for the presidential election. The millennial generation had a huge turnout of 51%, the highest turnout rate compared to the elections of 2004 and 2000 . Millennials supported Obama 66% compared to John McCain 31%. The Obama campaign successfully utilized social media to target the youth vote. His message spread virally, making him seem more likable and personable than McCain. Obama's effect was particularly effective on college campuses.
The 2012 election seems to not be drawing the same levels of excitement as the previous election. According to a Gallup poll , 25% of the voting populations are enthusiastic about voting while about 30% are not too enthusiastic about voting. Generally, Romney voters are more enthusiastic about voting than Obama supporters.
These findings seem to be consistent with the opinions of Michigan youth today. In the age bracket of people I know between the ages18-29, people seem to be unhappy with the previous president’s term and do not seem as likely to vote. They seem to be wary of Obama and Romney and still need time to come to a decision. A significant amount of people are still interested in Obama and very few are in support of Romney.
Issues that seem to be popular among the millennial generation are the economy, student loans, and gay marriage. The recent passing of the student loan bill that keeps interest rates current as opposed to doubling them may give Obama a little more leverage. His support for gay marriage seems to be one of his biggest positives throughout the millennial generation. Romney’s support against gay marriage may hinder a lot of the liberal minded individuals, but will appeal to a more conservative crowd. Romney’s position on the economy may seem to be a positive for the millennial of Michigan, especially since this state was one of the hardest hit after the recession. Romney’s program “Day One, Job One,” may offer the plan of action that Obama’s administration lacked.
Currently, it seems as if the Michigan political climate is at a stalemate. It may be that my generation is frustrated with some of the promises broken by President Obama, or it may just be the lack of satisfaction with the Michigan economic state. Michigander millenials are much more unhappy than they were during previous election thanks to the mounting student debts, the lack of jobs, and the endless stress that they suffer. According to the Detroit Free Press, the unemployment rate in Michigan is 8.5%. It still remains a little higher than the national average. Obama and Romney must appeal to us, the millennial generation, if they hope to sway Michigan in their favor.