by Nona Willis Aronowitz, GOOD Magazine
There is a historic generation gap when it comes to voting, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. Young voters favor Obama by a 61 to 37 percent margin, while voters over 65 favor Romney by 54 to 41 percent. Millennials, who were dubbed the “Obama generation” in 2008, are slightly less enchanted with him than they were back then.
Does Occupy Wall Street have anything to do with this waning support? Despite the fact that the protesters span several generations, OWS is undeniably a youth-led movement that’s disenchanted with the president.
Judging by a few trips to Zuccotti Park this weekend, young protesters do seem to be engaged with electoral politics, although the flavor and enthusiasm varied depending on their commitment to the movement. The political leanings of “full-time occupiers” I spoke to ranged wildly, from fiscal libertarians to Green Party enthusiasts to straight-up anarchists. There was a common refrain, though: Most of them weren’t excited about voting for Obama.
“If nothing else, Obama has shown us just how corrupt politics are,” says Brian, a 27-year-old full-timer from North Carolina. “We need a new voting system, a different way to fund it.”