Young Voters Lack Election Zeal

November 7th, 2010 by Ichi Vazquez

Are young voters really feeling abandoned by our president, or are they just swinging to a more conservative side? Or is there a better reason why they felt so disengaged from midterm elections?

In the the 2008 presidential elections, the majority of young voters ages 18-29 fully supported Barack Obama, and were actively involved and enthusiastic in helping his campaign. However, despite the tense yet anticipated midterm election results,  it was reported that young voters were mostly disinterested in voting, or didn’t place as much importance on these elections as the previous ones.

In a survey conducted on voters at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism ages 21-29:

* 14/15 people voted in the 2008 Presidential Elections

* 14/15 are happy with the way in which President Obama has handled the country’s problems in the last two years

and yet…

* 5/15 voted in the Primary Elections

* 3/15 voted in the Midterm Elections

According to this small sample of results, most of the young voters in this poll didn’t vote because they felt unmotivated and it didn’t seem that important, they believed their vote wouldn’t count and that their city was liberal anyway (as they were), or because they felt these elections didn’t portray how any major central political figures would affect their lives in an immediate way. Overall, most of the voters approve of President Obama’s work, yet fail to understand why the midterm elections are weighed so heavily. A similar view is reflected in a poll conducted by New York University’s Washington Square News in which young students felt that the presidential election was significantly more engaging and interesting to them overall.

Even though young voters seem to be uninvolved in the voting process right now, it may not mean that they are all unhappy with the way our president has been performing. It may just mean that the Democrats should pay more attention to the young adults who they won over so ardently before. Continuing to emphasize why primary and midterm elections have a major impact on the current party in power can show young adults that even though the politician of their choice is still the president, their choices can either prevent or push important bills, such as health care, to be repealed.

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