The college-aged voting bloc that fell for Barack Obama like a blind roofer in 2008 is now fully smitten with Bernie Sanders for the 2016 election.
Such is the most shocking finding of a poll of college students by Chegg, a company which otherwise specializes in online textbook rentals.
In its survey of 2,686 American college students at four intervals this summer, Chegg found that support among students for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has plunged — precipitously and disastrously.
In late June, the poll found, Clinton, 67, enjoyed the support of 40 percent of college students (among Democratic candidates).
By early September, Clinton’s college-student support had fallen to just 18 percent.
Thus, in about the time it takes for a summer romance between two college students to blossom, grow and then wilt and die, Clinton’s support on campus has tapered into virtually nothing.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 74, has been the biggest beneficiary of Clinton’s nosedive in student support.
As of September 11, Chegg’s poll found, fully 59 percent of all college students endorse the self-proclaimed socialist who is running against Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination
Support for the potential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden has remained consistent among students throughout the summer. In June, Biden’s support number was 13 percent. In September, support for Biden had crept up to 14 percent.
As Chegg cruelly notes, Clinton — with her support at 18 percent — Clinton is “in a statistical dead heat with someone who isn’t even running (yet).”
A little over a third of the students surveyed continue to believe Clinton remains still “most likely” to be the next president of the United States.
On the Republican side, college students currently support Ben Carson the most. Carson’s plurality of support is at 16 percent.
Clinton’s desperate current situation is a far cry from the immense confidence she and her staffers exuded less than a year and a half ago.
Back in April 2014, Ready for Hillary, the primary super-PAC that was then plotting to wrap up the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination for the former first lady, was working very hard to woo college students.
Specifically, organizers for Clinton were heavily engaged in outreach efforts to voters (and voters-to-be) aged 16 to 30, reported Mother Jones.
The chief operative behind the youth-vote push at the time was Rachel Schneider, a former Obama campaign youth vote coordinator. Schneider, a twentysomething Northwestern University journalism grad, is now the youth organizing director for Hillary for Iowa.
Schneider canvassed college campuses looking for eager converts ready to buy into the promise of Clinton’s 2016 magic. The goal of the cross-country blitz was to sew up on-the-ground support staffers before any other Democrats seriously enter the presidential fray. As Mother Jones noted, college students are frequently excitable idealists who don’t have real jobs or anything to fill up their time, so they are great fodder for manning phone banks and going door to door.
Ready for Clinton hoped to create genuine zeal among college-aged students for its sexagenarian candidate who was born before cake mix, credit cards, computer hard disks, McDonalds and Disneyland were invented.
As of April 2014, there were Students for Hillary groups on 33 college campuses across the country. The heaviest concentration was in the Northeast. Clinton supporters confidently predicted that the club numbers would swell as primary and caucus season neared.
Fifty-seven percent of voters under age 30 pledged their support for Obama in the Democratic caucuses in 2008.