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Gaining Teen Support

October 9, 2007

It has been brought to my attention that the Democratic candidates are presently seeking the votes of high schoolers in Iowa. In the last election, roughly 65% of the voters were 50 or over; now candidates want the support of a younger crowd, who they see to be very influential on other teens. Chris Elsenbast, a 17-year-old high school senior from Iowa started a political club at his high school and since he’ll be 18 by the time the election comes, he plans to vote for Obama, who is very popular amongst younger crowds. The candidates are seeking to find students who have a lot of influence over other students… since everyone knows, that majority rules in high school and most of the student body will typically conform to what the crowd is doing. If there is a strong leader with a lot of support from other students, he/she will be able to gain tremendous support for that candidate just by provoking candidate and political awareness. “The key for us is building an organization that can harness that enthusiasm and turn it into support,” said spokesman Tommy Vietor. There are many campaigns aimed at teens to try and get more younger voters to the polls (think Rock the Vote on MTV) and although the campaign might seem successful; the number of ballots doesn’t always relate. Based on timing, amount of support, and actual participation from students, candidates really have to focus on ideals that will really help to gain the support from teens in order to increase their amount of young votes and get teens from the ballots. The demographics of this election could change tremendously if the candidates succeed in winning votes from the younger generations and new voters…if more teens and students our age became actively involved with the campaigns and candidates, the Presidential elections could shift drastically in their focus and support.

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