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In office, Obama’s image tarnished among young voters
The Gipper’s, by contrast, was burnished by his accomplishments

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:40 pm - July 2, 2012.
Filed under: Economy,Obamania,Ronald Reagan

Bruce and I are both of the Reagan generation; we came of age in the 1980s.  Like a majority of those born in the 1960s and early 1970s, our enthusiasm for the nation’s president grew as his days in office lengthened.  The Gipper left office well loved by the twentysomethings of his day.

As I wrote last April:

My generation warmed to the Gipper not as much when he was a candidate as when he was president.  We loved him more in 1984 than we did in 1980.  Once in office, he gave us hope that we would find jobs and have a better future.   Obama, by contrast, gave us hope that his administration would be different from that of his predecessor, but once in office, the enthusiasm of his young followers began to wane.

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a story confirming this trend among today’s under 30 crowd, Stung by Recession, Young Voters Shed Image as Obama Brigade:

In the four years since President Obama swept into office in large part with the support of a vast army of young people, a new corps of men and women have come of voting age with views shaped largely by the recession. And unlike their counterparts in the millennial generation who showed high levels of enthusiasm for Mr. Obama at this point in 2008, the nation’s first-time voters are less enthusiastic about him, are significantly more likely to identify as conservative and cite a growing lack of faith in government in general, according to interviews, experts and recent polls.

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.

Obama’s appeal among this generation of twentysomethings was based on his appeal as a candidate. The Gipper’s on his record as the nation’s chief executive.

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12 Comments

  1. There is a typo :
    “..a new corps of men..”

    S/h/b “..a new corpse of men..”

    Comment by TnnsNE1 — July 2, 2012 @ 1:47 pm - July 2, 2012

  2. People DO respond positively when the president loves his country and the people in it, when he is focused on uniting the nation, and actual economic growth is happening.

    Comment by Az Mo in NYC — July 2, 2012 @ 2:38 pm - July 2, 2012

  3. “Reagan caused AIDS”

    There, now George and Levi don’t need to post in this thread.

    Comment by V the K — July 2, 2012 @ 2:54 pm - July 2, 2012

  4. #3 – Good one, V.

    Anybody else want to join me in giving Obama’s portrait the finger?

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — July 2, 2012 @ 3:04 pm - July 2, 2012

  5. Peter, I’d take it a step further….who wants to give HIM the finger?

    Comment by Az Mo in NYC — July 2, 2012 @ 3:28 pm - July 2, 2012

  6. My generation warmed to the Gipper not as much when he was a candidate as when he was president. We loved him more in 1984 than we did in 1980. Once in office, he gave us hope that we would find jobs and have a better future.

    I agree. As a young teenager in 1980, my peers and knew Carter was a mess, but also bought the ‘intellectual’ media’s depiction of Reagan as a right-wing nut. How wrong we were! A few years later, some of us had realized it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — July 2, 2012 @ 3:35 pm - July 2, 2012

  7. Elections should be about ideas. Reagan tried to keep the focus on ideas. The media attempted to make it look as if his candidacy was all about this has-been actor and the emotions he stirred. But he had important ideas, and he communicated them better than anybody.

    The “duh…Reagan caused AIDS” crowd is all about feelings and egos. That’s why, when they post here, it’s so difficult to have an adult conversation with them.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 2, 2012 @ 5:42 pm - July 2, 2012

  8. I was born in 73. Wish I had been older enough to know/care what was going on at the time. I do remember going to a parochial school in the 2nd grade and getting to watch the inauguration, but it was just a good reason to get out of class for me. Didn’t really start paying attention until 2000.

    Comment by TGC — July 2, 2012 @ 6:04 pm - July 2, 2012

  9. The “duh…Reagan caused AIDS” crowd is all about feelings

    Who cares about evidence and logic when you can have a warm and fuzzy feeling? That’s what really matters. It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford groceries if you can feel warm and fuzzy about the president.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — July 2, 2012 @ 7:50 pm - July 2, 2012

  10. Great line from a wonderful play I saw last month [set in the later 1980s:
    "He [Reagan] can’t heal the world.”
    “Well, he can at least try.”

    http://cinesnatch.blogspot.com/2012/06/theatre-review-snapshots.html

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 3, 2012 @ 2:00 am - July 3, 2012

  11. The “duh…Reagan caused AIDS” crowd is all about feelings and egos.

    Comment by Lori Heine — July 2, 2012 @ 5:42 pm – July 2, 2012

    Yup. It’s easier to blame Reagan than acknowledge that their own community norms, behaviors, and expectations were what spread and propagated the disease so rapidly, then blocked any attempts to control it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 3, 2012 @ 12:38 pm - July 3, 2012

  12. Also of note: all the characters in the play were straight.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — July 3, 2012 @ 3:53 pm - July 3, 2012

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