Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Youth Vote

I am embarrassed to admit that while I was cleaning up after dinner tonight (note to T. Heinz-Kerry: that is something us women without real jobs do when we finish eating a meal) the T.V. happened to be tuned in to Access Hollywood. I left it on because they were interviewing all of the Hollywood types who were in utter disbelief. Some were in complete denial. P. Diddy was confronted by an interviewer who pointed out that the 18-29 year-old vote was 17% in 2000 and it was 17% again in 2004. So there was NO change. The "Vote or Die" campaign had no effect.

But I would be interested to know if anyone can point to some numbers that indicate HOW that demographic voted. It would be interesting to see if it was also the same as in 2000. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that it probably was either the same as in 2000 or tilting slightly more this time toward Bush. I think we underestimate the intellegence of the youth vote. Young people who bother to vote are not any more stupid than the rest of the population. For more evidence of this see this and this. Forgive the obvious self-promotion.

Discussions - 9 Comments

CNN’s exit poll quotes the 17% figure for voters aged 18-29. The percentage for 18-24 year-olds was fewer than 1 in 10! See yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. According to this article, "Four years ago, just 37 percent of 18-24-year-olds voted."

"But despite all the efforts, an Associated Press exit poll survey found that fewer than 1 in 10 voters Tuesday were 18 to 24, about the same proportion of the electorate as in 2000."

You can be sure that every young man and woman in ROTC or who whas enlisted, voted republican. The eighteen year old election judge at my table was a registered republican. My daughter registered republican. She tells me that although talk was furious, few voted in her dorm.

There is actually some pretty significant polling on younger voters that shows that teenagers in particular were much more likely to support Bush. This can’t be good news for the Democrats. The next generation of young voters is politically active and aware, and they are more conservative on average than we are.

Of course, we’ll here the same rhetoric next time, about the "youth vote" supporting the Democrats, blah blah. But next time the news won’t be that the youth didn’t vote, it will be that they came out in droves for conservative, pro-defense candidates. And once again the media will be stunned by an obvious fact that they had ignored for several years.

Purely annecdotal but my 18 year-old daughter voted for GWB in this, the first election she was eligible to vote. Btw, she is a lifelong resident of northeastern MA. She found things to dislike in both candidates but eventually chose Bush, in part because she believed Kerry to be untrustworthy.

I think that, no matter your age, Americans want a serious President. Kerry surrounded himself with Hollywood types, telling us that they are the "heart and soul of America." I tend to think most Americans want Hollywood types to stick to entertaining. Why would the people trust the opinions of people who most likely have not attended college themselves, and made loads of money by looking good?

I found some data on the 18-29 demographic. According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement ("CIRCLE"), more 18-29 year olds turned out in 2004 than in 2000, both as a portion of total citizens in that age group and as a portion of total voters. Also, a higher percentage of 18-29 year olds voted Democratic this year than in 2004.

(Note: I do not know anything about CIRCLE’s biases or credibility. The organization’s web site says it is based in the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy and is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Carnegie Corporation of New York.)

Why did the youth vote not increase? I must reference James Taranto at who edits "Best of the Web" (I check it every day after work). Since Roe V. Wade i in the early ’70’s there have been about, oh 20 million or so abortions. Consider this, at least 15 million of those aborted souls may possibly have voted for Kerry, if they had been given the chance. But we will never know. Will we?

I saw a similar report last evening during which Russell Simons said something about how "poor white trailer trash" having an effect on the election. He was bitter and angry...but I coulndn’t help but imagine the turmoil if a white entertainer had said the racial equivalent about poor urban black people.

Lucas was right. I was mistaken to say 18-24. It was 18-29. I will correct it in the original.

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