President Obama’s campaign announced that it plans to send campaign staffers to 10 colleges in swing states to reach out to youth voters in what they’re calling “Student Summits.” The University of Michigan was one of the schools selected by campaign staff for a visit.
In 2008, the youth voting demographic went heavily to Obama — he carried a whopping 66 percent to McCain’s 32 percent.
Obama utilized social media, celebrity endorsements and refreshing campaign rhetoric to help capture that key demographic. He had little record to run on as a first-term U.S. Senator. Now, more than three years later, he has a record for voters to look at — but it’s grim.
Under the Obama administration, the graduating class of 2011 became the most indebted graduating class in history, with average per student debt sitting at $22,900. In addition, the average portion of the national debt per citizen sits at approximately $49,000.
In addition, unemployment among young people is twice the national average at nearly 18 percent. Real-unemployment is even higher.
In Michigan, the rate of unemployment is above the national average at an astounding 9.3 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, Michigan’s underemployment rate, which is generally believed to be a better indicator of the actual job market, ties with four other states for highest in the nation, sitting between 21 and 24 percent in December 2011.
Major cities in Michigan have been hit even harder than the state as a whole. Unemployment in Detroit hovers at 20 percent as of early 2012.
Young people in Michigan, as well as nationwide, are graduating college with more debt than ever before in history and entering one of worst job markets to date. We will be curious to see what Obama campaign staffers say to young people to try to win back their support after his administration spent the last three years failing them.
College Republicans at the 10 schools selected will be doing their part over the next few weeks to educate their peers regarding how the administration has failed young people.
Gus Portela is the Michigan state Chairman of College Republicans.