Marking a ripe opportunity for the Romney campaign are new polls that indicate that ultra-young voters—those aged 18 to 24—are open to voting for the Republican candidate this November. From the NYT:
Polls show that Americans under 30 are still inclined to support Mr. Obama by a wide margin. But the president may face a particular challenge among voters ages 18 to 24. In that group, his lead over Mitt Romney — 12 points — is about half of what it is among 25- to 29-year-olds, according to an online survey this spring by the Harvard Institute of Politics. And among whites in the younger group, Mr. Obama’s lead vanishes altogether.
Among all 18- to 29-year-olds, the poll found a high level of undecided voters; 30 percent indicated that they had not yet made up their mind. [Emphasis added]
Who are these ultra-young voters? My sense (my brother, my brother-in-law to be, and all their friends belong to this demographic) is that these are a pragmatic, matter-of-fact, skeptical group of young adults who are less inclined to be swayed by ideological arguments than were the Obama youth brigade of '08. These are people who have struggled to obtain college loans, who have had difficulty finding summer jobs and part-time jobs to help pay for school, and who largely lack the magical thinking of their predecessors who took for granted that there would be handsomely paying jobs just waiting for them after college. These young Americans have also seen their parents flounder with job loss, long periods of unemployment, and home foreclosure.
If I could counsel the Romney campaign on the question of how best to pursue this demographic, I'd advise them to avoid the slogans (hopey changey stuff won't work with this crowd), and to offer a vision of restoring America to a country that creates, innovates, competes, and wins.