A prominent Democratic pollster is warning that the election looks to be “a disaster” for Democrats because younger, so-called millennial voters, are abandoning President Obama’s party.
“Millennials could have the definitive impact on the election, and that impact could be from them not showing up,” warned Celinda Lake.
“They look to have the lowest turnout rates right now which would be a disaster for progressive candidates,” she added in an online interview for Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
Lake, one of the Washington’s top pollsters, said that younger voters are frustrated with the Democrats and feel abandoned by politics.
“That’s the biggest concern right now for Democrats and progressives in particular, is that millennial voters look very, very discouraged. They don’t think that anyone has particularly spoken to them, anyone has been doing anything for them, it’s a bad economy, it’s expensive education, and all the kinds of concerns that millennials have,” said Lake.
We all go through stages in life. For many of us, the young adult stage includes idealism and activism. Sometimes, social conditions and popular culture team up with the idealism, activism and energy of youth to create a major social movement. When that happens, politics becomes trendy – a fad.
A fad is any form of behavior that develops among a large population and is collectively followed enthusiastically for a period of time, generally as a result of the behavior being perceived as popular by one’s peers or being deemed “cool” by social media. A fad is said to “catch on” when the number of people adopting it begins to increase rapidly. The behavior will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone.
The Antiwar Movement of the Sixties was one such fad. I’m not saying that the people opposing the war in Vietnam weren’t sincere, but there are lots of things associated with the movement that really had nothing to do with opposing the war, like long hair and drug use. But if you lived back then and you wanted to be “cool” you had to be part of the movement.
Six years ago we saw another such fad called Obamamania. Opposition to the war in Iraq, Bush fatigue, youthful idealism and a national election were successfully exploited by some savvy marketers to turn an empty suit into the New Pet Rock: Ba-Rock Obama! If you were cool you supported Obama. If you didn’t support Obama, well . . .
When you are young everything seems so simple. Then you get older and you discover that things are more complicated than you thought. “Bring the troops home now!” looks good on a protest sign but then what do you do when Iraq falls apart as soon as we leave?
How many of those 22 year old college students who enthusiastically supported Obama are now 28 year old working parents who are trying to figure out how to fit Obamacare premiums into an already tight budget? As the saying goes, reality bites.
Today’s college freshmen were in junior high six years ago. They aren’t interested in the same stale fad that their older brothers and sisters were into. They want something new. Obama is so six years ago, and Hillary is older than their parents.
Besides, politics is boring.