YOUNGER VOTERS TAKE A SHOT AT THE STATUS QUO CAMPAIGN: RIGHT OR LEFT, A FRESH POLITICAL PASSION IS SEEN.Byline: Connie Llanos llanos (yä`nōs), Spanish American term for prairies, specifically those of the Orinoco River basin of N South America, in Venezuela and E Colombia. and Brandon Lowrey
Victoria Schieffer often spends several hours a week calling and going door-to-door to persuade San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. residents to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
"I found a candidate I can get behind and I am willing to do whatever it takes to get him elected," Schieffer said. "Like a lot of people, I am dissatisfied with the way our country has been going. He is willing to work with us, to fight for us."
But Schieffer's dedication has been surprising to some, since the 17-year-old Chatsworth High School senior can't even vote yet.
"I'll be 18 by November, though," Schieffer said.
tr.v. gal·va·nized, gal·va·niz·ing, gal·va·niz·es
1. To stimulate or shock with an electric current.
2. young voters like Schieffer played a crucial role in last week's Iowa caucus Since 1972, the Iowa caucus has been the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States. It has served as an early indication of which candidate for President of the United States might win the nomination of his or her political party at and Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E). . In Iowa, 65,000 voters ages 17 to 29 turned out -- triple the 21,000 that came out in 2004.
And in New Hampshire, early exit polls showed that young adult voters on the Democratic side cast 17 percent of all votes -- up from 14 percent in 2004.
"Types of people whose votes are frequently discounted are likely wanting to have their voices heard this time around, and that includes young voters and independent voters," said Mark Baldassare, president of the Public Policy Institute of California Public Policy Institute of California is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit research institution. Based in San Francisco, California, United States, the institute was established in 1994 with a $70 million endowment from William Reddington Hewlett. .
"It's symbolic of what this election is all about, in terms of thinking about the future and breaking out of the patterns of the past."
The question now for many is what young voters in California will do in February. And 18- to 24-year-olds could be a force if they go to the polls, making up 14 percent of the state's voting population.
Recent studies show that statewide, young voters already have been gradually increasing their showing at the polls.
A Field Poll survey in 2000 found 15 percent of the 11.1million Californians who voted in the presidential election were younger than 30. By 2004, that had risen to 22 percent.
And a nationwide survey found that compared with Generation X, today's college students have a stronger desire to volunteer, become involved in politics and enact change.
"They wanted politics to be much more positive, less partisan and more oriented toward solving problems," said Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, which conducted the study.
And any issues that might pop up between now and California's Feb. 5 primary election could also push more young voters to the polls -- or drive them away, said Kareem Crayton, a law and politics professor at the University of Southern California The U.S. News & World Report ranked USC 27th among all universities in the United States in its 2008 ranking of "America's Best Colleges", also designating it as one of the "most selective universities" for admitting 8,634 of the almost 34,000 who applied for freshman admission .
"If that happens in a place like California or South Carolina South Carolina, state of the SE United States. It is bordered by North Carolina (N), the Atlantic Ocean (SE), and Georgia (SW). Facts and Figures
Area, 31,055 sq mi (80,432 sq km). Pop. (2000) 4,012,012, a 15. , then we probably are going to be able to see a lot of evidence for the argument that the nature of politics, the landscape, has changed," Crayton said.
Sandra Cuneo, a volunteer team leader for Obama's campaign, said the number of young people seeking to volunteer has been overwhelming.
"I have been involved in political campaigns since the Lyndon Johnson era," Cuneo said. "I have never seen anything like this -- almost everyone is under 35 years old."
Kat Barr, director of research for the Rock the Vote campaign geared to attract young voters, said the number of young voters nationwide has been growing for the past four years.
In 2004, 20.1million 18- to 29-year-olds voted -- a 9 percent increase over the previous presidential election in 2000.
In 2006's midterm mid·term
1. The middle of an academic term or a political term of office.
a. An examination given at the middle of a school or college term.
b. midterms A series of such examinations. election, young-voter turnout also increased 3 percent over 2002 -- the first time young voters showed an increase for a midterm election in 24 years.
"Increased younger-voter turnout is great for democracy and it ensures that these young adults will take on the leadership of this country now and in years to come," Barr said.
The increased political engagement is showing up on the Internet. Sporting a favorite candidate as a friend on a MySpace or Facebook personal profile has turned into the new bumper sticker bumper sticker
A sticker bearing a printed message for display on a vehicle's bumper.
bumper sticker n → Aufkleber m for the techie A technical person. See hacker and programmer. generation.
But some argue that catering to today's young voters -- who have grown up in the era of MySpace blogs, YouTube campaigns and "American Idol American Idol is an annual American televised singing competition, which began its first season on June 11, 2002. Part of the Idol franchise, it originated from the British reality program Pop Idol. " -- could turn the nation's race to find a new leader into a virtual popularity contest.
"As a young person, I think it is fantastic that my demographic is getting involved," said 25-year-old Ryan Jolley, who in 2001 became one of the youngest people elected to public office when he won a board of education seat in Gahanna, Ohio Gahanna is a city in Franklin County, Ohio, United States. The population was 32,636 at the 2000 census. Geography
Gahanna is located at (40.026713, -82.869131)GR1. .
"But I hope young people use their newfound new·found
Recently discovered: a newfound pastime.
Adj. 1. newfound - newly discovered; "his newfound aggressiveness"; "Hudson pointed his ship down the coast of the newfound sea" power wisely," he added. "Picking the next president is much more difficult than electing the next 'American Idol."'
Jolley remembers how unpopular it was to be a political junkie junkie Popular health A popular term for a person, usually an IV narcotic abusing addict, whose life is disorganized vis-á-vis family and societal structure, whose existence revolves around obtaining–often through theft, prostitution or other illicit seven years ago, but said the Internet -- with its free tools of self-expression -- has sparked new interest among young people.
"It's actually cool to get behind a cause now," Jolley said.
Most young voters agree that their issues aren't that different from other generations' issues.
"We want a president that sounds intelligent, that makes sense, that wants to provide affordable health care for all Americans and that wants to work to keep wages at pace with inflation," said Matt Chorpenning, a 27-year-old North Hollywood resident.
Barr said another Rock the Vote survey showed young voters being most concerned about the war in Iraq, health care, jobs and the cost of college.
In California, an issue that could turn out to be key for young voters is immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. . Statewide, 50 percent of 18- to 24-year-old registered voters are Latino.
"For Latinos, the immigration marches that occurred in 2006 that were largely organized by young citizens sparked a lot of political activity and fervor," said Jaime Regalado, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at California State University, Los Angeles California State University, Los Angeles (also known as Cal State L.A., CSULA, or "'CSLA"') is a public university, part of the California State University system. .
"The negative focus on immigration could also get more young Latinos to the polls. This is one way for these young people to express their anger and exercise their political rights."
Mike Hines, a Chatsworth High senior who described himself as a Republican with Libertarian inclinations, said many young people are simply seeking change.
"Young people are tired of the Bush administration and they are tired of seeing the same old faces and they want something new," he said.
"If you look at Bush and Obama, they couldn't be more different."
no caption (youth)
The younger vote
SOURCE: California Secretary of State
Gregg Miller/Staff Artist