Friday, October 21, 2011

Sea change: President Barack Obama’s fluency in all things youth culture helped him galvanize a historically apathetic bloc of voters in 2008 and cruise to victory with an enormous share of their vote. But in the three years since, there’s been another youth surge: among the ranks of college Republicans.

“Our biggest recruiting tool over the last four years has been President Obama,” said Anton Dirnberger, president of the University of Michigan College Republicans. - Politico

Dirnberger said regular meeting attendance has jumped from 20 members before the 2008 elections to 80 to 100 members this year, and total membership has jumped from 1,000 to 1,500 in the past three years.

Heading into 2012, the demographic that invested the most energy in Obama’s candidacy in 2008 is now one of the most financially unstable, saddled by soaring student loan debt and high unemployment. If the Republican Party makes serious overtures to address that vulnerability on the trail, it could make a significant dent in Obama’s portion of the youth vote.