Will Young People Decide the 2012 Election?

USA Today published a front-page article about the voting generation gap: “The Underlying Duel of 2012: Seniors vs. Millennials.” There has always been a generation gap. Young people grow up as socialists. In most homes, children are handed everything. Their food, shelter, clothing, cell-phone plans, cars, and educations are paid for by their parents. There are exceptions, but it’s typical for anyone under 22 to be on the dole.

They are primed to be socialists.

According to the article, young voters overwhelmingly support President Obama’s re-election, while those over 65 favor Romney.

In a national USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, most 65-and-older seniors support Romney while young adults under 30 back Obama by almost 2-1. The 18-percentage-point difference in their presidential choices is one of the electorate’s biggest demographic divides, and it helps define campaign strategies for both sides.

The enthusiasm of the Millennial Generation for Obama, who is now 50, fueled his election victory four years ago. Though still backing him, younger voters have lost some of their ardor while seniors have become significantly more engaged than in 2008 on behalf of the 65-year-old Romney — and they are much more likely to vote. At stake in this divide is not only the presidency but also the country’s policy direction — shaping the debate on Social Security and Medicare spending, the need to invest in education and the priority placed on environment.

I grew up in the 1960s. For the most part, young people hated Republicans and conservatives in general. It wasn’t until they got jobs and saw what it took to make a living that reality hit them. That reality was called taxes.

When a millennial gets a job and sees what his or her Social Security tax is, a light bulb goes on. The more entrepreneurial among them are brought into the real world when they find out how difficult it is to get a business started and all the regulations and forms that have to be filled out. Insurance mandates, Workman Compensation payments, the employer’s side of Social Security and Medicare are a wake-up call.

When they find out that it will take three Millennials to fund one retiree on Social Security when it took 30 “Greatest Generation” workers to fund one retiree, they’re going to wake up in a hurry. Hopefully it won’t be too late for them and us.