January 30, 2008
After South Carolina’s Primary I drove down to Florida to see if I could talk to some young voters about their interest in the primary.
No surprises, the enthusiasm that I encountered was reflected the next day with a tripling in turnout among young voters.
According to CIRCLE 286,000 Florida citizens under the age of thirty participated in the primary yesterday. That is nearly half of all voters! And an increase in over 200,000 voters since 2000.
Comparisons to other caucuses and primaries must be made with caution, because turnout is affected by the date of the primaries and by the nature of the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, which are different in every state. In the case of Florida, not all the Democratic candidates contested the primary, so turnout was likely suppressed.
I saw this excitement first hand in a local bar in Jacksonville. Jackson of Jacksonville tells me he has never met Rudy–even though he lives in Florida. And when asked if he is voting for Rudy Jackson says “Hell no!! My mom likes Mitt Romney and I think my dad likes Rudy because of the way he handled 9-11.”
“I voted for Clinton, even though I don’t like her. Because I would rather have a woman president. I have a hard time supporting someone who is against gay marriage and I know she is more like. But I’d rather have a woman president, than Obama who…kinda sold out and is, ya know Oprah’s lapdog. I could be happy and whole heartedly support a woman president than Obama. It’s the progressive in me.”
Major issues to Jack factors into his decision proving once again that young people are focused on issues more this year than ever. “I don’t know… I know that she originally voted for Iraq and I don’t like people who turn around say–oh well… just kidding. Now that we know what happened… bad choice… That’s a decision you make every day and you can’t use that as an excuse. Going into a war…ya know, maybe we shouldn’t…. And its one of the things I don’t like about her.”
Jackson’s girlfriend could potentially go Clinton. She didn’t vote but she likes that Clinton is a woman too.
With all the talk of Rudy’s recruitment of young voters you’d think I would meet some of these people or maybe see pictures of them on his website for students. Maybe that’s indicative of the final count.