A Commentary By Michael Barone
THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
Last week, Barack Obama delivered speeches at universities in Chapel Hill, N.C., Iowa City, Iowa, and Boulder, Colo. The trip was, press secretary Jay Carney assured us, official government business, not political campaigning.
It’s part of a pattern. Neil Munro of the Daily Caller has counted 130 appearances by the president, vice president, their spouses, White House officials, and Cabinet secretaries at colleges and universities since spring 2011.
Obviously, the Obama campaign strategists are worried that he cannot duplicate his 66 to 32 percent margin among young voters back in 2008.
Recent surveys of young people show inconsistent results. Gallup’s tracking shows Obama leading Mitt Romney 64 to 29 percent, and a Harvard Institute of Politics poll shows him leading Romney 43 to 26 percent among those who said they had an opinion.
But a March survey of 18- to 24 year olds by the Public Religion Research Institute showed Obama ahead of “a Republican” by only 48 to 41 percent. Only 52 percent had favorable opinions of Obama, and 43 percent had unfavorable opinions.
Where the surveys seem to be in accord is that young voters are less engaged, less likely to vote and less enthusiastic about Obama than in the days when he was proclaiming, “We are the change we are seeking.”
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