Despite boyish good looks, mastery of issues confronting the generation beneath him and the gift of oration, Florida junior Senator Marco Rubio’s polling numbers among the under-45 sample of voters remain weak.
A CNN poll discovered Rubio is less alluring in a cross section of voters under the age of 55 and his support rests at 41 percent.
For the sampling of voters older than 55, Rubio enjoys the support of 55 percent.
“What seems to be attracting younger people so far this campaign season are not policy positions or attack ads but “softer attributes” such as leadership, character, authenticity and celebrity. I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence that younger people want to vote for young candidates. The reason (President) Obama did so well in 2008 with young voters wasn’t because he was an early baby boomer. It’s because he shared a world view with young people that was relevant to the moment,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
Further explaining Rubio’s failure to draw support among younger voters, Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the following:
“Seniors seem to like Rubio because of what he embodies: The son of working-class immigrants. His appeal really is to that older generation who kind of still have that sensibility of, this is what America is all about — pulling yourself (up). Not to the younger voters who still want an outsider, and Rubio is not it.”
While poll data is helpful in unraveling Rubio’s quandary, Mr. Murray’s account is prescient.
Murray reveals Rubio’s lack of appeal stems from the vision of the American Dream seniors idealize, in contrast to what younger Americans imagine: Given Rubio’s background, the son of Cuban immigrants who left Batista’s Cuba and persisted through a series of menial jobs to raise a family, Rubio navigated through similar trials and eventually earned a juris doctorate.
Akin to his parents, Rubio struggled to cope and was saddled with $100,000 debt, but paid it off without government assistance.
Rubio’s politics have been shaped by his experience as a self-made man, whereas many recent college graduates want the government to quash debt they accepted as a condition of matriculating in higher education.
Younger generations ignore Rubio’s past, his industriousness and his politics largely because they have fallen prey to the hypnotic influence of the campaign rhetoric proffered by Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, both of whom promise the backstreet to the land of milk and honey paved with tax dollars provided by the wealthy.
Younger generations should consider using initiative more frequently.
[USA Today] [Photo courtesy floridapolitics.com]