Low Youth Voter Turnout

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Diana Ayoub
Political Science 40
Professor Schwartz; Section G
6 December 2012
Low Young Voter Turnout
Voting is the civic duty of every American citizen that is eligible to vote. However, there was a low young voter turnout in favor of Obama in recent elections. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, the young voter turnout decreased by two percent from 51 percent in the 2008 elections to 49 percent in the 2012 elections. There could be three plausible causes for this political phenomenon: apathy, lack of marriage, and voting restrictions.

In Hunk 15: Political Participation, or Who Votes, apathy is a professional explanation for low turnout in the US. In relation to the low young voter turnout, voters (especially ages 22-29) most likely did not vote because they were disillusioned with Obama’s performance since the 2008 elections. Unemployment was 7.9 percent on Election Day which was higher than when Obama took office, the economy is still struggling. Voters ages 18-29 were either in college or trying to find work which is very challenging considering the rise of tuition and the difficulty of finding a job in this economy. According to a Gallup survey, a full 44 percent of 18-29 year olds were unemployed or underemployed. This year, Obama suffered a six percent drop in support from young voters compared with 2008 levels. In 2008, 66 percent of young people voted for Obama, while only 31 percent voted for Republican candidate John McCain. However in 2012, Obama received 60 percent of the youth vote in contrast to Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s 37 percent, according to The New York Times Exit Polls. Young voters were struggling in the economy, and they felt Obama did not accomplish anything in his previous term.

If these young voters were struggling to earn some type of income, marriage would be the last thing on their minds since it is so expensive. Astonishingly, the percentage of single men...
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