Broken Dream: Emotional Ad Hits Democrats for Youth Unemployment

Published on October 9th, 2014

Wynton Hall
October 8, 2014

A dramatic new political advertisement underscoring the plight of unemployed Millennial voters is taking aim at vulnerable Democratic senators who aligned themselves with President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

The ad, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, takes a striking new approach to economic messaging, one that replaces the usual blizzard of statistics and jargon with the forlorn faces and emotional angst younger voters—and, by extension, their parents—are experiencing in today’s hostile jobs market.

Shot in moody hues, the ad features a support group of young people sharing what it feels like to be among the nation’s 13 million young people who can’t find a job.

“I don’t know where things went off track?” a young woman says, “I thought I was doing everything right, and then I, um, I guess I lost hope.”

She adds, “I had to move back in with my parents after everything they’ve done for me.”

The ad closes with the announcer saying, “Big government is killing opportunity for young Americans. Don’t they deserve the dream?”

The ad, which is part of AFP’s new “Defend Their Dream” campaign, targets Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Begich (D-AK).

According to USA Today, “unemployment for 18 to 29 year olds is 15.8%, more than double the general rate.” Moreover, black youth unemployment in the same age range stands at a staggering 23.8%.

Even those with college degrees who manage to find work are struggling. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal reports, “Roughly a quarter of college graduates with jobs are earning barely more than those with only a high-school diploma.”

The new ad places unwelcome pressure on an already beleaguered Democratic Party as it struggles to defend an unpopular Democratic president heading into the midterm elections. With just 41% of Americans supporting Obama’s economic policies, Senate Democrats have little time to turn around economic perceptions.

Voters head to the polls in 28 days.

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