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Tom Edmonds, a GOP consultant interviewed here the other day, predicted that young voters would stay home on Election Day, which might allow John McCain to pull off an upset victory. The Financial Times has a story today looking at that question:
James Carville once famously said: “Show me a candidate who depends on the youth vote and I’ll show you a loser.” Historically, Bill Clinton’s election strategist was dead right, but the dictum may not apply this year. Just as the colour of his skin could conceivably deny Barack Obama the White House, the support of those under the age of 30 could put him there with room to spare.
There are 44m young Americans of the so-called “millennial generation” eligible to vote – about 21 per cent of the electorate. But it is not easy to get a handle on how many of them will cast a ballot. The Student Public Interest Research Group, an activist organisation, has gone so far as to predict a 70 per cent turnout, compared with just under 50 per cent of 2004. That may be high, but polls by Gallup and others all suggest it will split at least 60-40 in Barack Obama’s favour.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”