President Obama has lost his "cool" vote - the 2008 coalition of young, liberal voters that greatly secured his presidential win. A recent Pew poll reveals that voters under the age of 30 are disenchanted and lagging in enthusiasm, which could severely hurt Democrats in upcoming elections.
The age group has been the strongest for the Democratic Party in the past three elections, especially in 2008. Fox News Exit Polls showed that 66 percent of voters age 18-29 voted for Barack Obama, translating to 15.6 million votes.
According to the Pew poll, there is presently a "low level of engagement among young Democratic voters, with the gap between younger and older voters in 2010 double what it was in 2006. Currently, 53 percent of voters 30 and older are giving a lot of thought to the election, compared with just 31 percent of young voters -- a 22-point gap. In 2006, there was only an 11-point difference."
Fox News national polls show the same current trend. 73 percent of voters ages 35 and older are extremely or somewhat interested in the upcoming elections, compared with just 54 percent of young voters under age 35 -- a 19 percentage-point gap.
Enter MTV - a political powerhouse weapon for Democrats in reaching the "cool vote." Possibly even more brilliant than the party putting forth a young, "cool" candidate to enliven the political spectrum, is putting that candidate on MTV to relate to a generation that has the ability to pump out mass votes. President Clinton went on MTV during his bid, socially relating to his audience by speaking freely and unabashedly about his former use of pot, and played the saxophone. President Obama went on MTV as a senator, prior to his 2008 win, once again proving its effectiveness to sway the millennial generation.
The president is set to appear on MTV on Thursday, for a one-hour commercial-free special held in a "town-hall" forum that will also air on BET, CMT and stream live online. The question is not if the President will be able to relate once more to his audience, but if he will be successful in regaining their trust and enthusiasm amidst economic hardship, ongoing terror threats, the war in Afghanistan, frustration with student loans, the minimum wage, and a jobless rate that remains exceedingly high, when words like "hope" and "change" were what he promised.