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Understanding Young Voters

It seems like every presidential candidate wants to attract the young voter, but what do the young voters want in a candidate? We speak to Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me: Why Today's Young Ameri

Understanding Young Voters

Tom Fudge: Up until now, there's one thing that most politicians agreed on when it came to young voters. They all agreed that what young voters wanted wasn't terribly interesting to them due to the fact that young voters don't often bother to go to the polls. In the last presidential election, about 49 percent of voters under 30 went to the polls. Sound good? Well, compare that to an overall voter turnout of 64 percent.

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In this year's presidential race, things may be looking up for young voter turnout. At the Iowa caucuses, the turnout among voters under 30 was three times what it was in 2004. In New Hampshire, more than twice as many young voters turned out for that state's primary than did four years ago. If Gen X voters can form a substantial voting block, how will politicians appeal to them ? And how are they going to be different, in their voting patterns, from elderly voters and baby boomers?

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