Hiram College Professor Jason Johnson was interviewed by Japan’s largest daily newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun. Dr. Johnson discussed the Listening to Young Voters poll conducted by the Garfield Institute of Public Leadership.
A translation of the Yomiuri Shimbun article follows below:
Tug-of-war of votes from the young people in swing states
“Obama fever” fade in the job shortage
“In the last presidential election, young people had the illusion that Mr. Obama have a magic stick. But now, the enthusiasm is gone,” Jason Johnson, professor of Hiram College in Ohio said.
The professor conducted a poll with 600 young voters in June. He asked voters at the age of 18-29 in the United States, “If the election were held today, who would you vote for?” The results show “President Obama” 50%, Mr. Mitt Romney to be the Republican candidate 37%. Although Obama is the dominant Indeed, in the presidential election of 2008, according to exit polls, 66% of young people voted for Obama. Republican candidate John McCain had 32 percent.
Young voters once supported Obama. But now because they will be expected to suffer from the scarcity of jobs, a part of young people began to give up Mr. Obama.
However, “move away from Obama” does not mean “support for Mr. Romney.” Both sides are playing a tug-of-war.
Mr. Obama is planing to reduce the burden of student loans for young people suffering from heavy tuition. He put in place a policy that allows young people to be able to stay on the health insurance of their parents until age 26. In April, he said “Actually, I also had to repay my student loan until eight years ago.” He wants to be perceived as having a good understanding of the struggles of youth.
Mr. Romney is also strengthening his appeal to young voters. He said “the Obama administration made the economy stagnant and did not put work to youth. We will increase the work and turn around the economy.”
The reason why both sides focus on the young people? There are also circumstances in swing states, such as Virginia and North Carolina. There is a growing presence of young people in battleground states that will affect the outcome of the election.
Virginia, adjacent to Washington, DC, is in relatively good economic condition compared to the rest of the country, with young people flowing in from other states to the northern part of the state. In North Carolina, universities, research institutes and leading companies gather around the “Research Triangle Park”, and in recent years, many young people live in the area.
Professor Johnson pointed out that “In these states, whoever gets support from young votes would win. In the last election, Obama also won in Virginia thanks to young people.”
Then the pie charts we included:
Fig. 1: If the election were held today, who would you vote for?
Fig. 2: Who do you believe has the ability to strengthen the economy and create jobs?
Fig. 3: Trend of young people voting in the presidential election 2008
Photo: Supporters gathered to rally of U.S. President Barack Obama In Denver, Colorado. A Trend of young people in the swing states have been attracting attention. (8 Aug, Reuters)