The kids aren’t alright

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Zachary Huffman Contributor
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Tough economic conditions have hit young people particularly hard, forcing many to move back in with their parents and dampening their enthusiasm for President Barack Obama as they search for work and financial stability.

The Pew Research Center reported that 63 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 say they know someone who moved back home because of the lackluster economy, according to a recent poll.

This poll seems to confirm the “boomerang generation” stereotype given to today’s young people, so named because of their tendency to leave the family home for school or work and then swiftly move back in with their parents.

Another study conducted by the Pew Research Center last March showed that adults between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most likely to feel the effects of the continuing recession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that age group’s unemployment rate was 15.4 percent in June.

These numbers are hardly encouraging to young people, but they are especially troubling for President Obama ahead of the November election.

While polls show that Americans under the age of 30 are still likely to support Obama, a Gallup poll released last week suggested turnout among young voters will be low this year.

In the month before the 2008 election, 78 percent of young people reported they were planning to vote. This summer, only 58 percent of eligible voters aged 18 to 29 say they will definitely head to the polls, though Gallup did note that figure will likely rise as the election draws closer.

Conservatives have the opportunity to score points with voters who are so young they do not have a strong connection with the Obama youth movement of four years ago, according to experts.

“We’re also seeing that these younger members of this generation are beginning to show some more conservative traits,” John Della Volpe, the polling director at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, told the New York Times. “It doesn’t necessarily mean they are Republican. It means Republicans have an opportunity.”

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