Back in 2008, young voters between the ages of 18 and 29 cast nearly twice as many ballots for Barack Obama than for John McCain, but this time around, things are a bit more complicated and pollsters are finding that the so-called "millennial vote" is far from a sure thing for the Democratic ticket. If anything, a young reporter of Youth Radio found by analyzing Tufts University data, millennial first time voters are actually trending towards the conservative end of the spectrum compared to the rest of their generation.
The limping economy and lack of jobs sit atop the list of main concerns of young voters from both parties and that may reshape millennial voting patterns.
While other 2008 Obama base groups such as nonwhites and unmarried women have seen their level of support for Obama's re-election return to 2008 levels after a 2010 drop-off, recent polling shows that millennial voters' enthusiasm still lags. Fifty-eight percent of these voters self-identified as Democrats in 2008, but that was down to 50 percent at the end of 2011—the largest decline of any age group.
So there's certainly an opportunity here for the GOP and the choice of Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate may reflect that: (Check out his iPod!). Both sides are aggressively courting young voters—that "vast army of young people" that swept Obama into the White House four years ago—because Generation Y just might end up being a key swing vote.
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