March 20, 2005

Despite perceptions, youth vote a powerful resource

Ed Tibbetts of the Quad City Times writes on something The Dope has long maintained, that those fixated on attracting more right leaning voters are foolish to focus exclusively on this tactic at the expense of ignoring or dismissing other demographics such as the huge untapped youth vote.
In the wake of the 2004 election, where the efforts of mostly Democratic organizations to bring out the youth vote were highly visible, pundits and the press were quick to dismiss the efforts as a failure. Tibbetts exposes the falacy of this notion.
New figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office show how wrong that view is.

Young people did vote last fall. In Iowa, half the new votes came from people under 34, a third from people between 18 and 24.

This isn’t just a history lesson. It has real implications for future elections.

In Iowa, the 18-to-34 age population represents the biggest untapped trove of voters of any other age group —330,000 people just waiting to be touched.

The importance of attracting the votes of millions of young people should be at least as important as trying to out-Republican Republicans in hopes of picking up a few wobbly voters in the middle. Such tactic only take the soul out of the party and demoralize the base, not to mention giving pleasure to those on the right as they see their dominance expand and what little resistance there is further decrease.

After all, to paraphrase the title of a Jim Hightower book, There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead animals.


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