Profile of Political BystandersThe bad news for Democrats heading into the midterm election is that some of the groups which tend to most strongly break in their favor are also the least politically engaged.

Adults under the age of 30 are most likely to be classified as “political bystanders” by Pew Research, meaning they rarely vote or pay attention to political news.

This is particularly problematic for Democrats now because in just the past few years a huge generational divide has emerged in partisan politics. Until recently Democrats actually had a slight affiliation edge with senior citizens but that disappeared under Obama. Democrats are now dependent on strong support from less reliably younger voters to make up this loss.

In 2012 President Obama won young voters by a margin of 60-37, according to the exit polls, but lost seniors 45-56.

In addition Pew found lack of political engagement very high among Hispanics living in this country. This is a group which has been strongly trending Democratic in the past several years. Obama won them by a margin of 71-27.

Convincing their potential supporters to come out to vote instead of trying to sway some small pool of undecideds is the Democrats’ biggest challenge.