Obamania—On the Way Out?

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In this series, Flyby asks Harvard students to weigh in on topics worth polling.

The Harvard Institute of Politics recently surveyed young voters and found that supporters of President Barack H. Obama are less enthusiastic about the president this election than they were four years ago. Only 55 percent of Obama supporters polled by the IOP said they "definitely" planned to vote next month. Are these statistics true on the Harvard campus? Flyby walked around the Yard and asked Harvard students if their enthusiasm for Obama has waned.

Out of 15 sudents polled by Flyby, only three reported that they were equally enthusiastic about Obama this year as they were in 2008.

Most students agreed that their excitement had waned as a result of disappointment with the president's performance and the economic crisis looming over the current campaign.

For Terilyn S. Chen '16, this difference is visible in her peers. "I remember in 9th grade everyone wore Obama pins, and his motto of change was so strong. I don't see that as much now."

The IOP survey also reported a noticeable decrease in young people's excitement over politics in general, which Harvard students polled by Flyby students said they understood.

Matthew C. Seghers '16 said he finds it discouraging when candidates don't answer questions in debates and instead attack each other.

"I'm less enthusiastic about Obama, and I'm less into politics," said Eloise M. Wheeler '16. "I'm disappointed."