The college vote is up for grabs this year — to an extent that would have seemed unlikely two years ago, when a generation of young people seemed to swoon over Barack Obama.
Though many students are liberals on social issues, the economic reality of a weak job market has taken a toll on their loyalties: far fewer 18- to 29-year-olds now identify themselves as Democrats compared with 2008.
The Times attributes the decline mostly to the poor job market, but I think it runs deeper, as two of the students interviewed indicated:
Philip Stricker, 21, a biology major who voted for Mr. Obama but says he has not been paying much attention to politics lately, uses a nontechnical term to describe the phenomenon.
“There’s a vibe,” he said on a recent afternoon, while pumping weights at the gym. “Right now it seems like Republicans just care a lot more than Democrats.”
A spokeswoman for the university’s chapter of College Democrats, Mandi Asay, 22, said her group battled apathy on one hand and anger on the other.
“People are angry — about the budget deficit, health care plan, angry about this and that,” she said. “I feel like Republicans definitely, definitely have a chance of getting back on their feet.”
The yutes should be angry. Under Obamacare, they will be subsiding their parents’ health care coverage at a time when they should be saving; the mountains of debt run up by Obama will be repaid by them; and for the first time they have a future less bright than their parents.
Obama has forced the yutes to grow up fast. Who’da thunk?
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