By NBC’s Sarah Blackwill
For months, we’ve been talking about an enthusiasm gap - and seen declining enthusiasm particularly among Hispanic and young voters, some of the president’s staunchest supporters. The president has campaigned heavily on college campuses, including Iowa’s Cornell College and The Ohio State University just this week, trying to drive up enthusiasm and bank early votes. But our poll has new evidence that many young voters may sit it out this year.
In 2008, voters under 30 made up 22% of the electorate in Iowa. They represent 14% of adults in our poll. But just 9% of the voters that make it through Marist’s “likely voter” screen, which measures which respondents are most likely actually to cast ballots, are under 30. In Wisconsin, it’s the same story: young voters were 17% of the electorate in 2008, and make up 14% of adults in our sample, but only 10% of likely voters in our poll are under 30.