Presidential Polls 2012: Millennials Still Lean Democratic But Are Not as Enthusiastic This Time

With recent polling results, one may wonder how millenials are voting in this upcoming election. Typically, the younger generation tends to vote for the Democratic ticket as opposed to the GOP.

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement noted, “in every presidential election since 1972, young voters have preferred the candidate that ultimately won the presidential election and the popular vote.” However, in the election of 2000, it was a tie between the Democratic and Republic parties with a 47/47 split. The election of 2004 and 2008 represented a shift towards the Democratic Party. There was a high turnout of voters between the ages of 18-29, as well as a strong lean towards the Democratic platform (66 % for Obama vs. 32% for McCain) for the 2008 election. Obama focused his campaign on the younger generation that helped bolster his vote.

The Gallup (50% v 44%), Rasmussen (47% v 46%) and Fox News (48% v 43) polls all lean towards Obama. These results take into account the general results of the public. States that are considered to be key prime swing states, voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, ages 18-34, are showing an overwhelmingly huge support for Obama (60% to 30% on average for all three states). This trend correlates to the general trend that millenials are voting Democratic.

The main issue for the public in general is the economy, and millennials have been affected pretty hard. Back in July, unemployment rate was 12%, Student loans, prospect of jobs after graduation, inability to buy housing, cutting back on personal and financial goals all seem to be issues plaguing this generation. Obama shows more favorability towards social issues such as gay marriage and women’s rights, issues important for this generation.

Some of the generation still remains unhappy with either candidate. I, in the key state of Ohio, one recently leaning towards Obama, only 33% of 18-29 year olds felt as if each candidate represents their issues. Generation Opportunity performed a poll asking youth how the economy has affected their daily lives, and results show 85% people’s lives are affected negatively.

Some of the youth may not vote at all or vote independent. The youth vote is down overall. It isn’t just among Democrats, but Republicans as well. “Among voters under 40 who support Obama, 58% have given a lot of thought to the election this year, down from 70% among young Obama supporters four years ago,” and “59% of young voters who support Romney have given a lot of thought to the election down from 75% among young McCain supporters in 2008,” according to the Pew Research Center.

We’ll have to see on Nov 6th to see how the election will turn out whether or not the millennials will continue voting Democratic, show as much enthusiasm as the election of 2008 or just not vote at all.