Obama won't hold on to youth vote, Pawlenty claims
March 30th, 2011
03:41 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama won't hold on to youth vote, Pawlenty claims

Washington (CNN) - President Obama won't have a lock on the youth vote in 2012 ... or so claims one of his potential Republican challengers.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told Vanderbilt University's student newspaper last week that his nascent campaign has been reaching out to young voters in all the right ways, like announcing his presidential exploratory committee on Facebook and appearing on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Pawlenty, who was participating in a symposium at the Nashville-based university, also predicted some buyer's remorse on the part of young voters.

"President Obama is going to help us (get the youth vote) because a bunch of people that voted for him last time feel duped, and they aren't going to sign up again for dupe version two," Pawlenty told the Vanderbilt Hustler. "The excitement around his rhetoric that has now soured into the reality of his, in my view, flawed leadership, is now evident for all to see."

Pawlenty ticked through a few attributes that make him more appealing to the under-30 crowd than some of the other potential candidates.

"For a candidate, I am relatively young," the 50-year old said. "I have a more recent connection to the younger generation than some have or might have had in the past. We really understand the new era of communications, and that's why I spend time on Jon Stewart and love to do it."

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Clwyd

    Will Pawlenty hold on to any votes? What was the last % he was getting in a poll of republicans? I think 3%. He ran Minnesota into the ground and now he wants to do it on a national level!

    March 30, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. KathyC in Minnesota

    During Tim Pawlenty's 8 years as Governor of Minnesota, the YOUNG have seen College Tuition rise over 60%. The yolung are going to file in droves to vote for him.

    If Pawlenty believes that, I have ocean Front Property in Iowa to sell him.

    March 30, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. Rickster

    "President Obama’s approval rating has hit an all-time low, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
    The survey measured Obama’s approval at just 42 percent, with 48 percent of voters disapproving of the job he’s doing in office.
    Fifty percent of voters surveyed believe the president does not deserve election to a second term next year — just 41 percent said he does."
    lol......Hekuva job, Barry!

    March 30, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. MN Mom

    Wow - Pawlenty is dillusional! If youth "feel duped" it is because they wanted President Obama to pursue a more liberal agenda (univeral healthcare, less war, and more funding for education, etc.) and they are NOT going to vote for someone who goes way further to the right of President Obama. Youth will not vote for someone like Pawlenty who wants to cut education spending (which Pawlenty did in MN leading to much higher college tuition), keep giving away tax cuts to the rich (in MN the richest people pay 10% and everyone else pays 12% yet Pawlenty refuses to make the rate equal for all), further deregulate business and give corporations more tax cuts (Pawlenty gutted social programs in MN throwing many low income people off their health insurance and at the same time argued that corporations should pay no taxes at all), and refusing to do anything to protect our environment. It really doesn't matter if Pawlenty goes on Facebook or Jon Stewart or if he Twitters - young people will not vote for him because of his far right policies and the harm they would do to this country.

    March 30, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    with the apporach that the GOP has towards education, don't bet on it Pawly that the young folks are going to go your way. The GOP has done little to NOTHING to help create jobs for a lot of the voting age students coming out of collge, they want to cut grants and finacial aid that would help them get through college, and also attack programs like Planned Parenthood that help educate young people on birth control. Plus most young people aren't really into the Tea Party thing at all..which is mainly middle age to older white Americans not much into diversity at all. Sure the GOP may attract the kids of the FoxNews generation that insist that their kids be just like them, but the more independent thinkers, you know the ones that like educational programs on PBS and NPR, the ones that might have friends with an alternative lifestyle, or friends and co-workers that REALLY look like America (something the last RNC did NOT) I doubt if you guys will draw them.

    March 30, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Shawn

    Ha Ha! Yeah right. Unless Republicans reverse every backwards, bigoted, absurd thing they believe in, they will never EVER win the youth vote. Ever. Oh, and the vast majority of these young people will vote Democratic for their entire lives. The Republican party as we know it is doomed. It's a joke.

    March 30, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Realistic

    Geez, Pawlenty now thinks he is hip b/c he goes on FB? fact probably is, he has someone go on FB for him because he has no idea what FB is. And Pawlenty, wait til the youth find out what you and your coherts are doing to their parents which will effect their education. Like going after the middle class(unions) and hurting their chances of getting a good job b/c you and your cohorts destroyed the middle class and thus their parents who than couldnt afford to keep em' in college. Yeah you reach out to the youth alright, as they reach back you scream assult and have them arrested and send them to GITMO.

    March 30, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. James

    This just smacks of desperation. He actually used his appearance on the Daily Show as evidence that he can connect with the young people. Oy vey he sounds like some pathetic man-boy attempting to look hip.

    March 30, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |

    You wish Tim! The President will indeed hold on to the young vote. They certainly wouldn't vote for you. You want to cut the very things they care about, education, green energy, equal taxation, etc, etc. You're only hope is the Tea Baggers but in case you haven't heard, they are on there way down since the public found out what the real GOP agenda is. Can you name one, just one jobs bill that the GOP has come up with? Guess what, there aren't any. Just more GOP lies.

    March 30, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    "The excitement around his rhetoric that has now soured into the reality of his, in my view, flawed leadership, is now evident for all to see."

    Speak for yourself T-Paw. I'm 20 years younger than you and the President's governing is what we wanted. You obviously don;t know NOTHING about US!

    -We wanted the repeal of DADT and you want to put it back in place. Strike 1.
    -We wanted loan asistance and your party is trying to raise tuition. Strike 2
    -We wanted out of Iraq and your party wanted to stay in. Strike 3 & you're out!

    March 30, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. geecee

    What "flawed" leadership you talking about there, Tim? Obama has not been a radical liberal as some people might have expected, but he is instead a pragmatist. Young people aren't going to turn away from him in droves as you would hope, because they realize he can only do so much. Unless he brings the moderates with him, nothing will get passed so what is the point of pushing left liberal idealogies when they won't accomplish anything anyhow. He knows better than to try going too far left. Who else will the young vote go for? You think it's you? Not likely, as you are entirely too dull, not to mention, you're a Republicant!!

    March 30, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. victoria

    T-Pawl, you won't get the youth vote. the youth voted for Obama because they wanted progressive change. Your regressive change will only hurt the youth of this country.

    March 30, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Debbie

    What a joke! The guy must think that the zillions of polls and studies on young voters (18-35yrs) are either independents or GOP! LOL Every study shows that age range are registered Democrats. Guy is living in la-la land. Also, why does he think because he would appear on Jon Stewart that young people would or would not vote for him? Stewart is pretty good about having DEM, GOP, TEA people on his show but that doesn't mean that I would vote for a person because they've been on Jon Stewart not any more than seeing the same people on Fox would make me vote for them! Waaayyyy out of touch with statistics/studies.

    March 30, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. sogreat1989

    All I can do is laugh. Obama is younger than him. Young voters tend to be liberal. How in the world does he expect us to vote for his extreme conservative ways. They say "if your old and not conservative you have no values, but if your young and not a liberal you have no heart."

    March 30, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    HAHAHA...wrong. Of course, the TX Board of Edumacation and places like VA, which are using textvbooks with misinformation in them in hopes of conservatizing the youth...they're doing what they can to fix this of course. IT's not enough to just to misinform people with commercials, attack ads and mailings...no no...entire segments of US history MUST be rewritten in order to raise more conservatives and battle that astounding drubbing the GOP took from the youth vote in 2008. And you thought they were being honest when they asked Rand McNally to rename the slave trade to the North Atlantic Triangular Trade or some such freekin nonsense. The Civil War isn't over in their minds...they're still fighting it and demographic data has them acting like cornered badgers.

    March 30, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "For a candidate, I am relatively young," the 50-year old said. "I have a more recent connection to the younger generation than some have or might have had in the past. We really understand the new era of communications, and that's why I spend time on Jon Stewart and love to do it."

    Oh, my God. What a stupid, stupid idiot Pawlenty has become.

    March 30, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Dave

    The reason, all the Republican states are not allowing college students to vote. They have busted the unions, busted college students from voting, What next Republicans?

    March 30, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Jeff in DC

    Nonsense. Votes are always cast between 2 options: one politician is a a redeemable failure, and the other is an irredeemable failure. People always vote for the redeemable failure. As a moderately young voter, I knew in 2008 that Obama was a skilled campaigner and occasionally effective leader - he's lived up to my fairly reasonable expectations, which weren't that high in the first place, and has caused some level of disillusionment, sure. But he's still a redeemable failure, unlike any opponent he'll face.

    March 30, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. PNWjim

    Tim, its not about age .Its about message and your beliefs and message do not hold with the majority of youth or Indepedents.One of the reasons the Republican and the Tea Party are loosing steam and nieither will far well by the next election.

    March 30, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. GL

    Tim Pawlenty is trying to hard and it is still not working. He have moved too far to the right for any young voter to vote for him. I guest he really don't know that most Tea Baggers views only appear to white old people that don't know any better.

    March 30, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Freshman

    President Obama has my vote and the votes of my colleagues. We have no choice.
    Its either President Obama, or the Hitler youth all over again. Sorry, I'll take Obama.

    March 30, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Daniel

    Sorry Pawlenty, but peddling an anti-gay agenda, being against contraception and abortion, as well as wanting to slash education budgets and saddle the young with debt is not going to get you the youth vote; no matter how much you talk about facebook.

    March 30, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Mattski

    Hey Tim here's what young voters won't vote for:

    Institutionalized racism
    Institutionalized homophobia
    Institutionalized suffrage
    Institutionalized gender bias
    Institutionalized Ismanophobia

    March 30, 2011 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Ancient Texan

    Obama may keep most of the school childrens vote but Independents and voters that refused to vote for the "other" Liberal in the 2008 elections, will be out in force.

    March 30, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. Poser

    You can pretend to reach out to young people using facebook or whatever means. That doesn't mean they will embrace your message. College students are not going to vote for GOP candidates that are already cutting funding for education. Joe the College Student isn't going to say, "sure, I want it to be harder to afford tuition." Another thing to consider is the fact that young people don't earn much so cutting taxes for the wealthy isn't exactly a strong selling point with them. The GOP has nothing to offer to young people (or old people either unless they're rich or are just not paying attention to what they actually do in office).

    March 30, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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