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Obama fails to spark young Americans as Kennedy and Reagan did

Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan or John Kennedy
Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan or John Kennedygetty photos

The New York Times reported Friday that the record number of young people that elected Barack Obama twice are severely disillusioned. The volunteerism and public service the president advocated in his campaign platforms has not sparked interest from millennials to run for public office.

John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, told the Times, "We're seeing the younger cohort is even less connected with him generally, with his policies, as well as politics generally." He indicated the survey, done in 2013, showed 70 percent of young people ages 19 to 29 felt community service was “honorable,” while on 35 percent of the same responders thought running for office was.

Compared to the results from the Kennedy and Reagan years in the White House, Obama's numbers are a stark difference. Both of those presidents are credited with affecting generations of future politicians.

Della Volpe summed it up saying, "If you were to call it an Obama generation, there was a window - that opportunity has been lost."

Interestingly, one of Obama's former pollsters inadvertently made an excuse for her former bosses numbers. Sergio Bendixen blames social media for creating a generation bent on “instant gratification.” Those people moved on to "the next website and the next click on their computer" after the 2008 campaign frenzy. "I just don't see the generation as all that ideological or invested in causes for the long run," Bendixen said.

Is that really the case here? Most pollsters see an underlying cause for this disassociation due to the multiple scandals of the current administration, the new and unpopular health care law and the distinct division that has arisen in the country since Obama's presidency began in 2009.

Fifty-six percent of 18-to-29-year-olds disapproved of Obamacare, Time Magazine reported, while the Pew Research Center published an institute poll showing 54 percent of millennials disapproved of the president's overall job performance.

That may explain the situation better that Sergio's theory.

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