For further proof that young voters are still supportive of President Obama—and that Mitt Romney will need to do better if he wants to make inroads—look no further than the latest poll from Harvard’s Institute of Politics, which shows wide support among “Millenials” for Obama over the former Massachusetts governor:
Over the past four months, Obama’s job approval rating among America’s 18- to 29- year-olds has risen six percentage points to 52% (46%: Nov. 2011). Among Hispanics specifically, Obama’s job approval increased by fourteen percentage points from 52% in November to 66% in April, a level consistent with pre-Fall 2011 levels (68%: Feb. 2011; 62%: Oct. 2010; 69%: Feb. 2010). In a potential 2012 general election match-up with Mitt Romney, Obama leads among Hispanics by 39 points (50%–11%).
If this poll is any indication, there is room for Romney to grow; white Millenials have a 41 percent approval rating for Obama, and Millenials are still sour about the job market and the president’s handling of the economy. Which is to say, Romney’s performance among young voters will ultimately hinge on the same variables that will govern his performance among all voters. If economic conditions deterioriate, and Romney maintains his air of competence, then he’ll win the White House. Even with all of the scandal and speculation, it’s really that simple.