Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What happened to the youth vote?

I along with just about every other left-wing blogger expected a large turnout among 18-29 year-olds. The kids with cell phones that no one was polling. Where did they go? Part of the answer is that they were there. There were 1.5 million new voters between the ages of 18 and 29. Joe Trippi says they turned out and that's why Kerry was competitive Nov. 2. That 1.5 million new young voters translates to 17% of the electorate, though, which is the same percentage as in 2000. To me, that means that, instead of a highly charged new youth vote, we bsically just got the same percentage of younger voters, adjusted for population increases. Granted, of course, they went overwhelmingly for Kerry. But they still did not offer the tremendous swing in momentum that we all judged to be there. They were no more energized than an average Democrat. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get these people interested, and they didn't show up. That means we need to change what we are saying to them. Message will soon become the key way of thinking. Packaging a coherent, simple message for the consumption of the masses.

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