In the coming election many experts are speculating on key demographics that will determine the outcome of the election. In my readings two seem to reappear consistently- women and the youth.
This is a big year for women voters in part because for the first time we almost had a woman as the nominee from a major party. The question now seems to be two part -who will the previous female Clinton supporters and will the women vote be enough to outweigh the enthusiasm of another group? Former female Clinton supporters seem to be flocking to Obama, about 76% saying they plan to vote for Obama, while only about 18% say they will support McCain. (This according to a Lifetime Networks poll last month.) Women generally tend to vote Democratic, 54% in 2000 for Gore and 51% in 2004 for Kerry. Even thought Kerry beat Bush by 3% in women voters, this was overwhelmed by male support for President Bush.
While many young people may feel that they aren’t taken seriously as voters, that they are influenced easily by buzz words, the youth coming out to vote in large numbers would make people take them seriously. Since 1972, when the voting age was changed to 18 voting among the under 30 crowd has steadily declined, however in 2004 we saw that trend begin to turn around. According to Rock the Vote young people have turned out in droves for the primaries this year and many people are predicting they could decide certain swing states if they turn out in the numbers projected.
Being a member of both these categories gives us as the female youth an added responsibility to get out and vote; or better yet to help organize voting registration drives or get involved in a campaign.