There is a truth that Obama will have to face in 2012. The majority of reasons students voted for Obama in 2008 are irrelevant or evaporated in 2012. He is not running for the historical title of first black President in 2012. He did not close Gitmo or bring our troops home, in fact he started a war in Libya. He did not provide free health insurance for all. Most of all, he has done nothing to guarantee all these sociology and philosophy graduates jobs when they graduate.
John McCain was not inspiring for student voters. He was old, determined to win the wars America got into, white, male, loved America, and he was a Republican. Students have it drilled into their heads that this represents the great satan.
Romney may not be the next great satan to the educational institution, but he certainly isn’t the hip symbol of progressive diversity that Obama was. However, Romney doesn’t need to win the student vote. He just needs Obama to lose it.
Obama is still popular with teachers, who by and large are enslaved to their unions and engrained socialism. But students now have a record to go on, and the novelty has worn off. The funny thing about students is that they tend to be idealistic purists as often as they are naively ignorant. The same student who would trade an A for a six pack might also skip the Avengers movie because certain details don’t conform to the comic books. Obama is certainly not everything American students hoped and dreamed about. In fact, students who are honest with themselves would realize Obama is nothing that they hoped and dreamed for.
Obama has a special sort of hypocrisy that attentive students will sniff out. Obama might flash his environmental credentials to a crowd of students, but then in front of business owners he touts how oil extraction has increased under his Presidency even if he had nothing to do with it. He might tell students how he is bringing our troops home, but then he celebrates excursions into Pakistan to kill terrorists and Libya to do nation building. He may make overtones to the gay community and talk about equal rights, but look how fast his administration is throwing Biden under the bus for endorsing gay marriage. Perhaps in 2008, young students might be fooled. But now Obama has a record.
Obama can’t even win on student loan rates since he demonstrated those take second place to his healthcare legacy. Republicans wrote a bill to keep student loan interest rates low, but Obama has opposed the bill since it is paid for by tapping a special fund created by his healthcare law. Obama would rather pay for it by borrowing more from China, which will cause interest rates to balloon even more in the long term.
The difference between a student voter and nearly any other of Obama’s target groups is that as purists students will not vote for the lesser of two evils. Students won’t vote for Obama just to keep Romney out of office. They have been taught two things very well: follow your heart, and your vote doesn’t count. This frees them to vote for Rosie O’Donnell, write in their dorm-mate’s name, or skip the voting booth altogether to stay home and put those free morning after pills to good use.
Can Obama afford to lose the student vote? Not if you believe the statisticians who put the student vote at 1/5th of the population. A significant decline in this voting block for Obama means Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado, even if they simply stay home.
Filed under: Mitt Romney, Polls, President Obama, State & National Polls, Strategy Tagged: | 2008, 2012, avengers, biden, biden gaffe, black, democrat, diversity, election 2012, gay marriage, gay marriage gaffe, healthcare, interest rates, jobs, McCain, Mitt Romney, obama, Obamacare, psychology, Republican, Romney, Rosie O'Donnell, school, sociology, student interest rates, student loans, student vote, union, university, white, whitehouse 2012, whitehouse12.com, youth vote