I’ve been interested in insights from Andy McCarthy about the youth vote.
Citing this article, Andy says “Preliminary indications are that the youth vote (ages 18-29) was way up: an increase of somewhere over 2.2 million (maybe way over) from 2004 (a year in which it was very high), and as much as 13% over 2000. The Left’s dominance of the academy is now having a material impact on electoral politics. As we think about the future of conservatism, we ignore that at our peril.”
Accepting Andy’s premise, one of his readers emailed him this observation:
Hi Andy, I work in the field of academia, while I do agree that the preponderance of left leaning professors on college campuses is influencing a generation to vote Democrat I don’t think that wholly accounts for the overwhelming popularity of Obama among the youth. Especially 18 year old first time voters who have not been in college long enough to be influenced by liberal professors.
No, one must take into consideration that these students could relate to Obama. He is young, fresh, and speaks their language. McCain is none of these. As an example the students I interact with ate it up when Obama campaigned in jeans. Also, Obama was a master at obtaining cell phone numbers. From his rallies with celebrities to his V.P. announcement stunt. This allowed Obama to reach out directly to the cell phone generation. For the first time in their life a candidate was literally talking to them, paying attention to them, sending them messages on their phone. Not their parents phone but their phone.
In any case, whether you’re talking about new voters for conservative candidates, more excitement in the grass roots—or the future of conservative thinking and politics, I think we need to start now in reaching out and learning how to reach out to the youngest voters.
We need to learn to teach.