Young Americans showed an historic 11-point swing away from President Obama, only demographic to distance itself from the President at that level
Millennials demonstrate shift in views on solutions to unemployment and the bad economy, favoring lower taxes and less government involvement
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Generation Opportunity, the nation's largest social media and grassroots organization reaching out to young Americans ages 18-29, is releasing data and analysis on young voters and the 2012 election. Generation Opportunity has built a fan base of over 4 million on Facebook and has been in front of hundreds of thousands of young adults through direct contact at the grassroots level, raising awareness of and fostering a discussion on critical economic issues including overall and young adult unemployment, debt, and federal spending.
1. There was a stunning 11-point swing in the young adult vote in the 2012 Presidential Election.
In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama won 18-29 year olds by 34 points (66%-32%). This year, President Obama won 18-29 year olds by 23 points (60%-37%). The youth vote swung 11 points away from President Obama, more than twice any other age demographic. No other demographic showed movement anywhere near this: 30-44 showed +1% point increase in support for Obama from 2008; 45-64 showed -5% decrease in support for Obama since 2008; and 65+ showed -4% decrease in support for Obama since 2008.
2. President Obama is witnessing a fracturing of what was once considered his unshakable base of support among young voters.
2012 saw the largest drop in support from the 18-29 demographic for any incumbent President who won re-election in history. Underneath these numbers, young Americans are fundamentally reshaping how they think about issues like unemployment, job creation, taxes, and regulation. The fact that young Americans will represent 38% of the electorate by 2020 makes this all the more relevant.
3. Contrary to conventional wisdom, young adult turnout actually increased from the 2008 level.
The conventional wisdom, which was advanced and shared by numerous news outlets and grassroots organizations, including the AP, Pew, and Huffington Post, was that young people would A) decrease in turnout compared to 2008 levels, and B) vote in just as strong of a margin for President Obama in 2012 as they did 2008. Yet, young adult turnout actually increased (from 18% to 19%) and swung 11 points away from President Obama.
Generation Opportunity was heavily involved in reshaping both the terrain and the national dialogue with regard to the young adult vote going into the 2012 election.
Beginning in June of 2011, Generation Opportunity took to the national stage as the largest national grassroots organization focused on young Americans that presented a clear alternative to the mantra of bigger government and increased federal spending. Generation Opportunity gave a voice to the millions of young Americans who were dissatisfied by the status quo of high unemployment and a lack of meaningful, full-time jobs and were searching for an alternative.
The organization utilized an integrated strategy that combined online targeted social media, targeted field activities, and earned media to educate and, ultimately, mobilize young Americans 18-29 year olds. Young adults were strongly encouraged to make their voices heard for real change.
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