“Congressional leaders announced last week—after months of bickering—that they finally reached a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling, just days before the July 1 deadline. This may be good news for the many Americans who are currently suffering from an aggregate total of over a trillion dollars in student loan debt. But it’s decidedly more ambiguous for one of the loudest supporters of the issue: President Obama.
As we know, the youth vote was a crucial part of Obama’s successful 2008 coalition. This year, pollsters have confirmed that the youth vote is still incredibly important. But they’ve also determined that it’s highly unreliable. Gallup reported in late April that while Obama leads Romney by 35 points among 18-29 year olds, only 6 in 10 eligible voters in that age group are registered to vote and only 56 percent of those registered report that they will definitely show up to the polls in November. Indeed, any informal survey of students about this year’s race yields dispiriting conclusions: Young voters are much less excited about 2012 than they were about 2008. Further underscoring the point is a recent New York Times article discussing the ideological toll that the recession has taken on voters between the ages of 18 and 24. On the whole, they’ve become more skeptical of government intervention in the economy.”
—Jose A. DelReal, “Has Obama Lost His Best Chance to Rally the Youth Vote?”