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DandyDear711's avatar

The youth vote...What have you heard? Voting or Not?

Asked by DandyDear711 (1512points) November 4th, 2008

I talked with my college student daughter a while ago. She registered to vote and voted today at her school today. She said the process was easy. However, she says many kids are not bothering to vote and she is very frustrated by it.

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32 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

I’ve heard out in record numbers.


asmonet's avatar

I just texted every single person I knew from ages 18–30. They have all voted.

32 – O’bama.
1 – mCaine

I have really cool friends though.

Mizuki's avatar

They will show up, and will vote.

autumn43's avatar

I went with my son, who is 18. He couldn’t wait. Of course, he was voting for the wrong guy….but anyway, he said he and his friends were definitely voting.

We ran into one of his friends who recently became an American citizen. He went up and found he wasn’t registered. He assumed he was because he was told that now that he was a citizen he could vote. He just didn’t know the details behind that….so he was HUGELY disappointed. I felt badly for him.

asmonet's avatar

@autumn: Every time I vote I get this irrational fear that I forgot something and they’ll turn me away. Every. Time. I get nervous and shaky in front of the little women with their books of names. That’s awful, and basiclaly my worst nightmare.

krose1223's avatar

I’m 19 and I think most of my friends voted. I live in Texas but I am from Gainesville,FL and ALL of my friends were about the vote there. Here in Texas I had about a handful of friends who didn’t.

waterskier2007's avatar

I’m 19 in college, and here in the dorms almost everyone is voting on account of the fact that our dorm has its own voting location and there are people walking the halls reminding everyone to vote and telling people when the line is short. I live in ann arbor (University of Michigan) and for those of you that don’t know it is one of the most liberal cities I have ever been in. it sucks being surrounded by tools (I’m republican btw)

DandyDear711's avatar

My daughter goes to school in Minnesota – could be a swing state. She has to work noon to 7 so she had to vote in the morning. Skipped a 1 pt quiz to do it.

autumn43's avatar

a 1 point quiz? I would have skipped too! (well, hopped)

trumi's avatar

I waited in line for 6 hours with my girlfriend so she would vote, even though I can’t. She admits that she would have gone home otherwise :D

My eligible friends are all voting (for Obama), but from canvassing I can tell you that a lot of college students are just too lazy. About 4 guys today said they would vote after class, and were clearly just getting out of bed. At like 11. But I’ve talked to tons of students, mostly OSU, that are super excited and have been voting early.

So, fingers crossed!

DandyDear711's avatar

@autumn – Good one!

aisyna's avatar

i started a young democrats at my high school and we held a voter registration drive (the last week that you were able to registar) we set up a table at the front of the school and harrased any that walked by and looked like they were 18 alot of them were already registared, so i think a lot of the young people are voting. :D

La_chica_gomela's avatar

i saw on cnn that about twice as many eligible voters under 30 came out as usual

autumn43's avatar

Well, my son is not a happy camper this morning. But I think he enjoyed seeing how the whole process worked (correctly). Or maybe not.

DandyDear711's avatar

Thank you, YOUTH!

seekingwolf's avatar

I’m 19 and I voted this year for McCain and I’m damn proud of my choice, even if he didn’t win.

Everyone I knew voted for Obama (sigh) but honestly, I don’t think the youth vote really matters. It seems to me that most just don’t care. I even saw some reports released AFTER the election, and they said that looking at all the voters who voted for Obama, Obama could have easily won without the youth vote…it was the huge influx of minority voters, especially African Americans, who may have not voted in the past but voted for Obama. These voters were the ones that sealed the election for Obama, not the youth vote.

asmonet's avatar

I was a youth vote, I like to think I mattered.

I know what you’re saying, but the phrasing disappointed me.

trumi's avatar

@seeking; Having seen the youth in action, and having been a part of it, I must disagree that Obama could have won without us. Not me personally, but the movement. Without teenagers and college students he would have lost the primary, and Clinton would have lost to McCain. It wasn’t the votes that made the difference, it was the involvement. A mutual friend of ours was a community organizer that mobilized dozens of supports and knocked thousands of doors, and he couldn’t vote. I don’t think you really know what you’re talking about.

seekingwolf's avatar


Actually, I do know what I’m talking about because I’ve seen the statistics. “Movement” doesn’t get someone into office, it’s the number of voters who come out and vote for him. I think it was his great campaign, how he marketed himself, and how he used technology to reach out toward voters. I think you’re giving us lazy college kids too much credit (oh, wait, I didn’t vote for him, heh.)

The truth is, with the amount of votes NEEDED to win, Obama could have won without the youth vote. Perhaps their “movement” spurred things? Sure, you could say that. But the truth is that the youth vote didn’t make as much as a difference as the black vote did.

Don’t get all angry because now you feel your vote “didn’t matter”. The guy won ok? be happy.

asmonet's avatar

The movement directly contributed to more voters getting out and getting it done, seeking. Maybe you only know college kids but it’s sure as hell not the same college kids I know.

seekingwolf's avatar


Eh, I don’t know, the college kids I know said they would go knock on doors but then somehow…forgot…and yeah. I don’t know. That was the College Democrat group. The College Republican group (VERY small) did far more to try and salvage the election for McCain, but I think we all knew it was a lost cause.

The “reaching out” that I saw was primarily done by African American leaders in our community (back where I am at home) as well as some African American artists and the like. Not college kids. I wonder where they were…

asmonet's avatar

I along with more than half of my friend went door to door, e-mailed friends and relatives, called neighbors and distributed fliers. Perhaps it was the youth in your area, but being involved in ‘the movement’ I saw how many people were mobilizing across the country and saw those numbers while it was happening. I’m proud of my generation and I wouldn’t dream of referring to them as lazy college kids.

In fact, people my age have begun to set a trend for developing nonprofits some of them only run by themselves. I know of one offhand that was profiled in The Washington Post magazine for starting a program to build soccer fields for impoverished children in third-world countries.

seekingwolf's avatar

I got 3 McCain supporters knocking on my door during the campaign, and 1 Obama supporter.

I am so disappointed with my generation, but not on the basis of what I saw during the election. I hope things will get better when many of them will mature a little.

Soccer fields in third world countries? How nice of them!

EmpressPixie's avatar

The Obama campaign, for whatever reason, was generally overrun with volunteers. Regardless of age, the Obama campaign drew far more supporters with volunteering in their hearts than the McCain campaign. On FiveThirtyEight, you can read descriptions of the various field offices. Obama’s were lived in and busy, McCain’s were austere and empty.

Now, at the offices I visited (three), there was a tendency for our generation to be more prevalent than the older generation. I mean, the olds were there. There were just way more of us.

Also, I thought the polling data showed that basically all the groups voted the same, so even if the youths and minorities hadn’t come out, the old whites would have gotten Obama in just fine.

trumi's avatar

@seekingwolf The reason you only got one Obama person on your door is that you told him you weren’t supporting Obama. We kept records, and did not return to houses that were McCain supporters. And buddy, I KNOW my vote didn’t count because I’m too young to vote! But I registered voters, comprendo? And I knocked literally hundreds of doors. It wasn’t the youth VOTE, it was the youth involvement that won the campaign.

seekingwolf's avatar

Say whatever you’d like.
I do think you give us youth too much credit, but oh well.
Keep making yourself feel good. :)

EmpressPixie's avatar

@seekingwolf: Saying “Say whatever you’d like” is incredibly dismissive of the fact that Trumi is telling you. When we walked door to door, they took McCain supporters off our lists. I know because I made the same walk a few times during the election and the list of houses to visit got smaller each time at the doors I visited became more focused on undecideds.

I will also say Obama was able to run his campaign in part because of the netroots culture. He made it possible for me to have all of his positions on my iPhone so that anywhere and at any time I could become an Obama supporter talking to an undecided voter. He made it easy and possible for us to donate any amount of money. Republicans have thrown a fit because he hasn’t released the names of the vast majority of his donors. They’ve always had to because they’ve never been able to reach out and get the $5 or $10 like Obama did because they’ve never utilized the Internet and new technology in the way Obama did. And as we all know, utilizing new technology is a way of getting at the youth. Be it their vote, their help, or their support.

Even today, you can go to his website and the entire thing is Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Honestly? McCain and his team probably don’t even know what that MEANS. Neither do my parents. But it means an awful lot to me.

seekingwolf's avatar


I still am skeptical of the impact of the youth involvement. (not including me, even though, unfortunately, I am considered a youth). I think it was more of the African-American involvement. but like I said, you can say what you’d like. We don’t know how it would have been if there was no movement, as this did not happen. It’s really not worth arguing about it.

Personally, I dislike the man (omigosh!) and I don’t care really HOW he got in office, all I know is that he’s there. :P Not much I can do about it…except sleep through the inauguration.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@seekingwolf But you should care how he got there, especially since you both don’t like him and volunteered for McCain. By looking at how he got in, you can utilize the same methods as much as possible next time to get him out.

I mean, I’m probably opposed to that, I do like him, but not caring how he got in is, in my opinion, the same as not caring that he got in. And if you really don’t care how he got in, why do you keep responding?

seekingwolf's avatar


Everyone knows that the Republican party needs to change their campaigning methods, particularly by utilizing resources like the internet. Everyone knows this. I did volunteer to knock on door for McCain. I got sweared at a lot by Obama supporters…now I don’t talk much about politics IRL because everyone my age is an Obama-nazi so it’s best if I shut up.

I keep responding because people are responding to me :) I think it’s rude not to return a reply.

It just sucks (in my mind) that he’s in there…that’s what has me bummed, not how he got in. I’m hoping the inauguration will just go smoothly then go away and I can just try to forget about him and move on.

asmonet's avatar

Obama-nazi? Wow.

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