July 4th, 2012


Obama's uphill battle, but with the US generations

First of all, happy July 4 to all American pals! So let's talk about this uphill battle that everyone keeps theoretising about. Let us start by saying that no doubt behind Obama's remarkable election victory in 2008 there was the significant youth element. Lots of young people got mobilised to vote for Obama, including through the means of online campaigning. But now the president will have to work even harder than he did back then - and not just to win the votes of the youngest voters who have just acquired their voting right... but he will probably struggle to even keep the youth vote at its previous levels. Although the young Americans tend to lean heavily to the left and vote democrat in their vast majority, a large part of them now share their elders' disillusion with the economic situation in the country, and this will inevitably reflect on November's election.

I don't want to be a downer, but let's be realistic. The moods among the various generations in the US will be decisive for the outcome of this vote, and there are tendencies showing that Obama will be facing a great challenge in regards to the so called Y-Generation. Surveys among the young voters indicate that they are not as enthusiastic about politics in general and voting in particular, as they used to be 4 years ago when they invested a lot of hope in Obama. Now many of them are disappointed with the deteriorated financial environment and there is a risk that they would want to punish him - not necessarily by voting for Romney (which is highly unlikely), but by just skipping this election and not turning up to the polls. What's more, the republicans still have some momentum from the 2010 House elections, when their success was largely thanks to the mobilisation of the older voters. If republicans manage to channel this anger energy, Obama would really be in trouble.

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