A staggering 51 percent of those who graduated from college since 2006 don't have a full-time job, according to a recent study. Ironically, these are the same voters who mobbed the polls for Obama in 2008, giving him a significant part of his winning margin.
Mitt Romney could have gone black, Hispanic, or female with his vice presidential pick. Instead, he did something smarter. He went young.
The Paul Ryan pick was a naked bid for the votes of the Survivor Generation -- college grads under 40 whose goals are no longer those of their parents, who sought to thrive. Many of these young people now live from month to month, hoping merely to survive.
Normally, they are unreachable for the GOP, which hasn't made a serious bid for their votes, much less their attention, in years. But with Ryan at his side, Romney will be able to do just that. The Ryan pick is not mainly about shoring up Romney's base, although it will be spun that way by the media. It is about attacking Obama's.
The key to understanding the Paul Ryan VP pick is to look at his age -- 42 -- and his message against the backdrop of the desperation Obama's young 2008 voters now face.
A whopping 66 percent of voters under 30 gave Obama their votes in 2008, making the disparity between young voters and other age groups larger than in any presidential election since exit polling began in 1972. But now, four years older, many of them have entered their 30s, and a full 50 percent say Obama has failed to change the way Washington works.
Until he picked Paul Ryan this weekend, Mitt Romney had no way of credibly addressing this cohort. Now, with Ryan at his side, he does. The Ryan pick was first and foremost a nod to a generation whose problems Obama not only has never truly addressed, but rarely even acknowledges.
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