youth vote

  1. Youth vote needs rekindling
Photo by Molly Cogburn, Story by Claire Bennett of the Daily Tar Heel
At President Barack Obama’s political rallies, supporters have been known to shout, “Fired up! Ready to go!”
But one of Obama’s key demographics that supported his victory in 2008 — youth voters — might not be so fired up this time around.
Young voters’ enthusiasm on college campuses helped spur Obama to victory in North Carolina, which he won by about 14,000 votes in 2008.
Yet compared to the 2008 election, the UNC campus isn’t looking as patriotic as it did four years ago, said Erin Sanderson, a 2012 UNCgraduate.
“There was a lot going on in 2008 — a lot of red, white and blue,” she said.
And the amount of campaign rallying on campus was borderline overwhelming, she recalled.
“I almost felt harassed. You couldn’t walk through the Pit without being stopped three times for voter registration,” Sanderson said.
Gabby Whitehall, co-founder of Tar Heels for Obama, said her feelings have not changed since the 2008 election, but she has seen some dwindling some of her peers’ excitement.
While more than 80 people attended the group’s Democratic National Convention watch party and the rooms are full at meetings, Whitehall said she has had difficulty rallying students to participate in voter outreach activities, like door-to-door canvassing and voter registration.
“What can be difficult is actually getting people out there and doing the hard stuff,” she said.
Some political analysts attribute less enthusiasm on campuses to disenchantment with the political system as a whole.
Sarah Treul, a UNC political science professor who specializes in American political institutions, said there was far more excitement on campus in the months preceding the 2008 election.
She said the general lack of enthusiasm for the 2012 election has more to do with an increasing apathy toward politics in general, rather than dissatisfaction with either candidate.
Young voters might have become overly optimistic due to much of the hopeful rhetoric of 2008, she said. Obama’s message resonated with students who believed that politics could be different.
“Four years later, I think a lot of students realize that even despite the ‘hope and change’ message, much in politics remains the same from election to election,” she said in an email.
While there might be less excitement surrounding Obama’s campaign on campuses this year, college Republicans say they’ve seen an uptick in support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to his predecessor.
“Young voters are turning out significantly more so for Romney than (John) McCain,” said Kenan Drum, president of UNC for Romney.
“Voters are both unhappy with the current situation and the solutions that President Obama has offered.”
Drum said there’s been an increased number of Republican students willing to knock on doors, register voters and participate in phone banks in Chapel Hill.
Although the lack of fervent support for Obama’s campaign might worry some younger Democrats, Whitehall said it’s natural for a sitting president to experience less buzz surrounding a reelection campaign.
“Everyone knows the president and his policies and there is no need for (the 2008 levels of excitement) in 2012, but that doesn’t signify a lack of enthusiasm or support among voters,” she said.
“This happens to every incumbent.”
Despite mixed levels of enthusiasm, both campaigns will continue to reach out to young voters and rally support on campuses across the country through events like debate watch parties for the Nov. 6 election.
The presidential debates will commence Wednesday evening, with the first one being held at the University of Denver in Colorado.

    Youth vote needs rekindling

    Photo by Molly Cogburn, Story by Claire Bennett of the Daily Tar Heel

    At President Barack Obama’s political rallies, supporters have been known to shout, “Fired up! Ready to go!”

    But one of Obama’s key demographics that supported his victory in 2008 — youth voters — might not be so fired up this time around.

    Young voters’ enthusiasm on college campuses helped spur Obama to victory in North Carolina, which he won by about 14,000 votes in 2008.

    Yet compared to the 2008 election, the UNC campus isn’t looking as patriotic as it did four years ago, said Erin Sanderson, a 2012 UNCgraduate.

    “There was a lot going on in 2008 — a lot of red, white and blue,” she said.

    And the amount of campaign rallying on campus was borderline overwhelming, she recalled.

    “I almost felt harassed. You couldn’t walk through the Pit without being stopped three times for voter registration,” Sanderson said.

    Gabby Whitehall, co-founder of Tar Heels for Obama, said her feelings have not changed since the 2008 election, but she has seen some dwindling some of her peers’ excitement.

    While more than 80 people attended the group’s Democratic National Convention watch party and the rooms are full at meetings, Whitehall said she has had difficulty rallying students to participate in voter outreach activities, like door-to-door canvassing and voter registration.

    “What can be difficult is actually getting people out there and doing the hard stuff,” she said.

    Some political analysts attribute less enthusiasm on campuses to disenchantment with the political system as a whole.

    Sarah Treul, a UNC political science professor who specializes in American political institutions, said there was far more excitement on campus in the months preceding the 2008 election.

    She said the general lack of enthusiasm for the 2012 election has more to do with an increasing apathy toward politics in general, rather than dissatisfaction with either candidate.

    Young voters might have become overly optimistic due to much of the hopeful rhetoric of 2008, she said. Obama’s message resonated with students who believed that politics could be different.

    “Four years later, I think a lot of students realize that even despite the ‘hope and change’ message, much in politics remains the same from election to election,” she said in an email.

    While there might be less excitement surrounding Obama’s campaign on campuses this year, college Republicans say they’ve seen an uptick in support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to his predecessor.

    “Young voters are turning out significantly more so for Romney than (John) McCain,” said Kenan Drum, president of UNC for Romney.

    “Voters are both unhappy with the current situation and the solutions that President Obama has offered.”

    Drum said there’s been an increased number of Republican students willing to knock on doors, register voters and participate in phone banks in Chapel Hill.

    Although the lack of fervent support for Obama’s campaign might worry some younger Democrats, Whitehall said it’s natural for a sitting president to experience less buzz surrounding a reelection campaign.

    “Everyone knows the president and his policies and there is no need for (the 2008 levels of excitement) in 2012, but that doesn’t signify a lack of enthusiasm or support among voters,” she said.

    “This happens to every incumbent.”

    Despite mixed levels of enthusiasm, both campaigns will continue to reach out to young voters and rally support on campuses across the country through events like debate watch parties for the Nov. 6 election.

    The presidential debates will commence Wednesday evening, with the first one being held at the University of Denver in Colorado.

    dailytarheel.com »

  2. President Obama’s reelection campaign is vetting Colorado State University in Fort Collins and the University of Colorado at Boulder against each other in the upcoming weeks using a competition to register young voters.

    The recently released “Rocky Mountain Rumble” video features Kal Penn and John Cho, stars of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, who made a campaign stop at each of the universities on Friday of last week.

    The Rocky Mountain Showdown, an annual football game between the rival Colo. schools, will take place at Sports Authority Stadium at Mile High this Saturday, August 1.

  3. Barack Obama’s reelection campaign recently launched a new Web site section targeting young American voters, the home page of which features the above photo taken at a dive bar, The Sink, in Boulder, Colo. on April 24, 2011.
The Sink is located directly across from the University of Colorado at Boulder campus and was the setting of this meme involving CU student Madalyn Starkey and Obama in a photo taken just before the president made remarks that day on campus.
The new Obama site launched just ahead of his two-day tour of U.S. colleges, including stops at University of Virginia, Iowa State University and, Tuesday, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.
Young Americans for Romney is a page on the Republican presidential candidate’s Web site that similarly addresses young voters, though It does not specifically detail policies that would affect them. The new Obama site promotes his policies on education, environment and LGBT equality.

    Barack Obama’s reelection campaign recently launched a new Web site section targeting young American voters, the home page of which features the above photo taken at a dive bar, The Sink, in Boulder, Colo. on April 24, 2011.

    The Sink is located directly across from the University of Colorado at Boulder campus and was the setting of this meme involving CU student Madalyn Starkey and Obama in a photo taken just before the president made remarks that day on campus.

    The new Obama site launched just ahead of his two-day tour of U.S. colleges, including stops at University of Virginia, Iowa State University and, Tuesday, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

    Young Americans for Romney is a page on the Republican presidential candidate’s Web site that similarly addresses young voters, though It does not specifically detail policies that would affect them. The new Obama site promotes his policies on education, environment and LGBT equality.

  4. A mountain of upcoming outreach goals at the Organizing for America office in Boulder, Colo., a candidate-affiliated office that aims to get young people to vote.

    It’s not just reporters and analysts who are predicting a decrease in voter turnout among under-30-year-olds this presidential year; 2008 and 2004 were outliers in what has been a historically declining turnout rate since the 1960s, according to the Census Bureau.

    Read More

About The 12

The 12 is a group Tumblr of The Washington Post and student journalists in 12 battleground states documenting the 2012 presidential election and capturing perspectives of young voters.

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