Via The Political Wire:
Poll Finds 73% of Young Voters Will VoteThese are people that grew up watching The Real World. Sex Ed and Gay Baiting won't sell Republicanism to enough of them to keep the GOP coalition together.
"If the 2004 and 2005 elections are any indicator, young voters will continue to turn out at the polls in record numbers in upcoming elections... A new poll released by Young Voter Strategies, a project of the George Washington Graduate School of Political Management, shows that 73 percent of young people who are eligible to vote are likely to cast ballots this November."
Said YVS director Heather Smith: "This generation will be 25 percent of the population by 2016 and it is likely that the party that wins in 2006 will be the party in power in 10 years."
From the Campaigns & Elections:
Turnout in 2004 among the 18-to-24 year old bloc increased 11 percent over 2000 turnout, while general turnout increased only by four percent. In key governor races in Virginia and New Jersey in 2005, youth turnout continued to grow while general turnout dropped. A new poll released by Young Voter Strategies, a project of the George Washington Graduate School of Political Management, shows that 73 percent of young people who are eligible to vote are likely to cast ballots this November.Ok, I'm a little suspicious of the 73% statistic. But I do believe that people in my generation voted more in 2004 and will vote more in 2008 (and beyond) because George W. Bush taught them that it's important to pick your leaders - otherwise people that are more than half way to being dead will pick them for you. And their priorities have nothing to do with taking care of you in your old age. Or keeping the air you'll breath clean. Or making sure people around the world don't hate you...
Best of all, more young people self identify as Democrats / Progressives / Liberals. And the Democratic Party Platform lends itself to appealing to young voters because it's actually about the future.
All a candidate needs to do to appeal (not pander) to these voters is mix talk about long term issues like environmental protection and controlling the National Debt with the issues that mean something to them. Stop talking about tax credits for parents putting kids through college and start talking about tax credits for people carrying massive amounts of college debt. And any effort to make rent payments tax deductible would be great too.
The point is that whoever goes after this block of oft-ignored voters will get them.
The survey also found that 63 percent of respondents thought that the country was on the wrong track. The top three issues that concerned young voters were gas prices, education and jobs and the economy. Forty-nine percent of those polled believed that Democrats would do a better job of addressing their top issue, while 28 percent believed Republicans would do a better job. In a generic ballot question, 45 percent said they would vote Democrat while only 26 percent said they would vote Republican.The signs are good, Democrats just need to pick up on them.
2006 Election 2008 Election Democrats Young Voters