Barack Obama has nearly moved to Colorado college campuses in an effort to motivate the country’s younger voters. He’s winning them two-to-one, but they may not vote or may vote for alternatives.
He drew a huge crowd at Fort Collins’ CSU campus during the Republican Convention and Sunday at Boulder, but he still faces a challenge from young voters who just joined the voter role and have mostly experienced the disappointment of a terrible job market and not the hope and change campaign of four years ago.
Two recent polls affirm that Obama has the youth vote by two-to-one in Colorado. A September 3 automated PPP poll shows Obama beating Mitt Romney by 20 points among voters aged 18 to 29 years old (keep in mind the 18 to 21 year-old voters will be casting their first vote). The live interviews in the New York Times/CBS/Quinnipiac August poll, using a broader age category of 18 to 49 years old, showed an 11-point Obama advantage among the youngest category. In the PPP poll, young voters also were the most undecided.
Young voters are also more susceptible to third party candidates than older voters. When offered the choice of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, 7 percent of voters under 30 years old selected him in the PPP survey. Three percent of young voters, the largest percentage among their age group, offered in the New York Times/CBS/Quinnipiac poll said “other candidate.”
Note: For all of Obama’s effort with the young, he is losing seniors by about 15 points in Colorado, which is one reason the campaign is so interested in using Paul Ryan’s Medicare position as a wedge issue.
National polls agree Obama has the youth vote.
- NBC/Wall Street Journal (8-23-12): Obama – voters under 35 years old: 52% to 41%; Romney – seniors: 49% to 41%
- Los Angeles Times (8-19-12): Obama – voters 18 to 29 years old: 52% to 38%; Romney – seniors: 51% to 41%
Also see: FCN – Diners serve up politics in swing state