The youth vote propelled Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. A new survey suggests that support may be softening ahead of the 2012 contest.
The survey from the Public Religion Research Institute and Georgetown University's Berkeley Center finds 48% of 18-to-24-year-olds would like to see Obama return to the White House, while 41% would support a generic Republican candidate.
76% of those younger voters cite jobs and unemployment as their top issue for the 2012 election, followed by the federal deficit and education. Social issues are extremely unimportant to these voters as only 22% say abortion and same-sex marriage are of critical importance.
69% of this group way the government should do more to reduce the gap between rich and poor and 72% favor raising taxes on Americans making more than $1 million per year.
“Both the Romney and Obama campaigns have their work cut out for them to reach college-age Millennial voters,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. “Obama enjoys significant favorability and excitement advantages over Romney, but his support among younger voters today is substantially lower than among younger voters four years ago. Romney’s largest challenge is that he inspires considerably less excitement than Obama or other Republican candidates.”