Obama crushed Republicans in the past two presidential elections with young voters. In fact, 18-29 year old voters skewed toward Obama by 34 points in 2008 against McCain and 24 points in 2012 against Romney. Meanwhile, Republicans have typically fared better with the Baby Boomers with Romney coming out ahead of Obama with all voters above 45 years old in the 2012 contest and McCain winning with voters above 65.
This is not a recent phenomenon. As the Pew Research Center points out, Democrats have relied heavily on the youth vote throughout history with John Kerry and Obama pushing the support spread between young and old voters to the widest margins since the 70’s.
Young voters skewed even more toward Obama in the swing states with Obama beating Romney among 18-29 years by 34 points in Florida, 27 points in Ohio and Pennsylvania and 25 points in Virginia.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Hillary camp is panicked about their sudden collapse in support from millennial voters. According to the Wall Street Journal, Hillary led Trump by an average of 26 points nationally among 18-35 year old voters back in August but that lead has now collapsed to just 7 points.
The outreach comes as polls show younger voters moving away from Mrs. Clinton. Among those under age 35, Mrs. Clinton’s lead over Republican presidential rival Donald Trump fell from 24 points in late August to just 5 points this month in Quinnipiac surveys. That was one reason her overall lead among likely voters fell from 7 points to 2 points.
Similarly, Mrs. Clinton bested Mr. Trump by 27 points among voters under 35 in a Fox News survey in early August. That lead fell to 9 points in a new Fox News survey.
Meanwhile, state polling data is also starting to reflect the shift in young voters as well with Hillary’s 24-point lead among young Michigan voters back in August collapsing to just 7 points in September.
The trend is appearing in some state-level surveys, as well: In a new poll of Michigan voters, Mrs. Clinton’s 24-point lead among young voters a month ago fell to 7 points. That change helped account for why her 11-point lead among voters overall fell to 3 points in the survey, conducted for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ.
Democratic strategists are panicked with one former Clinton aide admitting to The Hill that Hillary has to win among voters saying there is “No other way around it.”
“Those are tough numbers,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, calling support from millennials “critical” to a Clinton victory in November. “You have to have enough millennials to offset the baby boomers that she loses, and right now, she’s underperforming with white voters.”
“She has got to do better there,” a former Clinton aide acknowledged. “No other way around it.”
The panic among the Hillary camp has prompted yet another campaign “reset” as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been lined up to storm universities in swing states across the country over the next couple of days/weeks. Of course, the two will be highlighting the many free goodies that the Hillary campaign will be offering young students including a plan to make community college free and proposals to have students graduate from college without debt. They are also expected to discuss other issues including health care, immigration and an increase in the minimum wage. The problem, at least according to Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons, is that Hillary needs to do the leg work with Millennials on her own as sending surrogates isn’t as effective.
“You have to go talk to the voters, the campaign can’t outsource the outreach to surrogates and expect that person to seal the deal for them,” he said. “President Obama can’t do it. Elizabeth Warren can’t do it. Hillary is going to be their president. She’s the one who needs to do it.”
A travel schedule we suspect will be a bit too exhausting for Hillary as she continues to recover from her “pneumonia.”