Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The controversy over the youth turnout

So, was the youth vote up or not? Depends on how you count. From what I understand--still researching--the youth vote rose in proportion with the vote of older adults. Some people have been spinning that as low youth-vote turnout. But Hans Reimer of writes:

In the past few hours, a number of reporters have asked me whether young people will become cynical about politics since the guy they voted for did not win.  That’s b.s.  Everyone knows that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

But I am worried about a new potential for cynicism for a different reason.  Young people turned out to vote in huge numbers on November 2, along with everyone else.  But somehow the media is reporting out that young people didn’t vote.

This scares the hell out of me.  A lot of young people might think that all the energy, all the enthusiasm, all the participation that they witnessed throughout this election was phony, a mirage.  That their peers don’t really mean it, that they were lying about their interest in politics and intention to vote.  That young people really don’t care, just like the old people say.

That would be devastating.

The excitement was real.  The engagement was real.  And the turnout was real.

In 2000, 42.3% of 18-29 year olds voted.  
In 2004, 51.6% of them voted.  

Stop and read that again if you didn’t get it.

Young voter turnout was up---dramatically.

Sure, maybe they didn’t throw the election to Kerry.  But they came damn close.  And if Kerry had done a better job with other demographics, then his large young voter margin would have pushed him over the top.

The media needs to get the facts straight.


At 3:55 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

I do absolutely agree. I was watching a report early this morning that said, as other media sources, that the young voter turn out, was no different than previous elections. What these sources are not taking into account, as you said, is that the entire American population turned out in higher numbers, not only the youth vote. So of course proportionally, its going to appear that young voters did not vote any more than previous years. It's funny how the media and politics twist things around so that they sound the way want them to.

At 7:05 PM, Blogger ~Jessica~ said...

This is a different Jessica then the one above. They are getting their info from an exit poll which has already proven that it is not accurat information. Plus I think the media is trying to paint a negative picture of 18-24 years-olds to stasify their cranky older viewers.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger CleverCynic said...

Only 5.5 of every 10 voted for Kerry anyway. I know they're the most media-impressionable group in the country, but you're just prostituting them anyway. They've been on the receiving end of the system their whole lives and have nothing to give that is theirs... sure it's easy. I'd stick with the African Americans, they seem to be the only ones you can "Educate properly on the issues" whatever that means.


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