2008 Who Likes the Youth Vote?
posted by November 12 at 12:30 PMon
The conventional wisdom has been that Barack Obama is cleaning up among young voters, partly because they like his idea of turning the page on the old battles and grudge-matches of the 1960s (even if some ’60s-era icons don’t like Obama trying to turn the page on them). However, a recent poll suggests that it’s actually Hillary Clinton who leads among young voters. Interesting.
I was at a Clinton campaign organizing event in south Seattle on Saturday morning (more on this in the upcoming Stranger) and heard a young Clinton campaign staffer, keying off the above report, bragging to a largely middle-aged crowd of Clinton supporters about Clinton’s strong support among young people. He was trying to rally local Clinton-backers to help her win the Washington State Democratic Caucuses on Feb. 9.
I took note of this, since I write for a paper with a lot of young readers.
But then, later that night, I read how, over in Iowa, where young Barack Obama supporters were out in force at a big event that is seen as a show of candidates’ pre-Iowa-caucus strength, the Clinton campaign was spinning the large turnout of young people for Obama as a bad sign. The spin:
Obama’s sections are right out of Facebook — young, and unlikely to caucus.
“Youth voters” of America, be warned: In case you didn’t know it already, you too can be used as political fodder—and used to make two different and somewhat opposing points, in two different states, by the same campaign, in the same day.