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Thus Spake the Nation's Youth Thus Spake the Nation's Youth

Thus Spake the Nation's Youth

by Nikhil Swaminathan

November 12, 2008
Using data primarily from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), put together some eye-catching numbers on the youth impact on the 2008 election. The youth vote (the number of ballot-casters under 30) was up 3.4 million over the turnout in the Kerry/Bush election of 2004, rising to 23 million voters, 18 percent of the total electorate. According to a CNN report, 62 percent of eligible voters chimed in on the presidential election--a rise of 2 percent over the 2004 election; CIRCLE's data says that young voters accounted for 60 percent of that uptick.If the youth vote was the only voice in the election, Obama would have won 455 electoral votes--91 more than he has in the official count. On This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday, a roundtable including Fareed Zakaria and David Gergen discussed how the immense support shown for Obama by young voters--he outpolled McCain 66 to 32 in this group--could lead to a generational love-affair with the Democrats, similar to the Reagan effect of 28 years ago. That's of course provided that Obama's presidency is seen as a success.It's a tough task. The economy is in ruin. We are in two wars. But, there seems to be a tide of hope. In order to preserve this tide of enthusiasm from the nation's youngsters, Obama has a lot of work to do.
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Thus Spake the Nation's Youth