JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is targeting his midterm election economic message to young people born after 1980, a cohort that has shown itself to be reluctant to vote in nonpresidential contests.
Obama will promote his economic policies Thursday at Cross Campus, a Santa Monica, California, hub for startup companies and entrepreneurs. Obama is highlighting policies such as college aid and health care that officials say have especially benefited members of the millennial generation.
Thursday’s speech is one of several White House efforts to draw the attention of demographic groups that are crucial components of the Democratic voting coalition. Officials said Wednesday that in the coming weeks before the election Obama will highlight policies aimed at women, African Americans and Latinos.
Millennials, young people born roughly between 1980 and the mid-2000s, total a third of the U.S. population and many came of age during the Great Recession. They are also represent one of the most challenging voting blocs. Many millennials supported Obama in 2008 and 2012 but sat out the midterm election in 2010 that shifted control of the House of Representative to Republicans. White House officials say Democrats in close Senate contests must mobilize these voters to win and retain control of the Senate.
The White House on Wednesday released a 49-page report by Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers detailing the millennials’ role in the current economy and the policies that have affected them. The report says the rate of uninsured among millennials has fallen 13.2 percent since the new health care law took effect in 2010, largely due to a provision that allows young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26.
According to the report, millennials are the most diverse and the most educated generation to date. About 61 percent of adult millennials have attended college, compared to only 46 percent of Baby Boomers.
Because many entered the job market during the Great Recession, the report states, “their early adult lives have been shaped by the experience of establishing their careers at a time when economic opportunities are relatively scarce.”
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