By Margaret Faller, Norre Dame De La Baie Academy, Green Bay, WI
Will young voters turn out at the polls in record numbers for the upcoming presidential election or will the underemployment or unemployment picture, student loan indebtedness, and price of gas leave them disillusioned with the political process?
“The recession has definitely been tough on young people that are entering the job market and the complaint has been that they are unable to find employment matching their skills and educational level, but I hope it does not dampen their enthusiasm to vote,” said Notre Dame Academy senior Tim Davison.
Historically, it has been older Americans that have shown up at the polls to vote until the trend started to change in the past election cycle when the younger voters showed significant participation in the presidential election.
According to early polls by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll, young people do not seem as engaged or interested in the political candidates and agendas.
“Honestly, I do not think many high school students I know are that informed about the presidential candidates,” said Notre Dame Academy senior Nathan Krcma, “but maybe that will change as the election quickly approaches.”
The Obama campaign and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney are battling for the young voters and promoting their messages on college campuses nationwide and through the media.
“I think TV advertisements and billboards are an effective political marketing tool for the candidates,” said NDA senior Jordan Trgovac, “because many young adults spend hours on their phones, computers, watching TV, and in their cars, and will be drawn into the persuasive ads.”
Notre Dame Academy senior Alyssa Vandenbusch added, “I think the youth are more susceptible to the propaganda of candidates because they are young and usually are easily swayed in their beliefs.”
Campaigning by the presidential candidates on college campuses suggests both parties are targeting the vote of the youth.
“I think whomever young voters support in 2012 will be a key factor in the presidential race,” said Davison. “I think that whichever candidate can show he can improve the economy and create jobs will secure more of the votes of the youth,” added Davison.
“I do intend on voting in the presidential election,” said Krcma. “I think it is important for the youth to participate and to be heard and who knows, my one vote could make a difference.”
“Recent campaigning by the presidential candidates suggests they are not writing off the student demographics and I think the vote of the youth will make a difference in the election or the candidates would not be trying so hard to get their messages delivered,” said Davison.
“This will be the first presidential election I will be able to vote in and I definitely intend to vote, whether it is heading to the polls or by absentee ballot. It is finally my time to be counted,” Davison added.the original article from hsj.org, written by Margaret Fuller