Youth may turn out for ’08 election

With the election just six days away, voters will be heading to the polls to make their final pick on who will be the next president of the United States.

The younger voters could be the deciding factor.

According to Kentucky’s primary, just over 275,000 voters ages 18-24 registered to vote. So will this turnout carry over to the national election?

“Kentucky is looking like it is going to go red this year,” Northern Kentucky University College Democrats President Adam Sandfoss said. “On election night, Barack Obama will not win Kentucky, but I feel it will be close. The Democrats are making a lot better strides and I can see it going blue again due to the economy is down and it is hitting our state hard.”

NKU senior political science major Sean Vandevander sees a different view of the election and how the younger voters will fair next week.

“Age is obviously one of the things that can swing voters,” he said. “If you idolize someone enough, you are going to vote for that candidate. Obama has written a children book to vote Democrat.”

With the question of age in the race, Karl Rove, former senior advisor to the Bush administration and Dee-Dee Myers, former press secretary for Bill Clinton were at NKU for the Alumni Lecture Series Oct. 9. The two Washington pundits also feel that age is a factor in the upcoming election.

“That is certainly the hope and expectation of the Obama campaign,” Myers said. “The precedent in the primary has high turnout and is the most I have seen in any campaign since 1992. It is a mission of the Obama campaign to register millions of voters and the 18-29 range are 30 points pro-Obama. If they can turnout those voters it will be effective for Obama’s campaign.”

“Four-years ago the turnout among younger voters was 49 percent,” Rove said. “There has been this historical differential of younger voters. Last time out the younger voters agreed with the final decision. It will be seen how big the turnout will be come election day.”

How will Ohio voters that go to NKU play a key role in the election and how will the Republicans fair in the swing state?

“No Republican candidate has won the presidential election without Ohio and it will be ground-zero again,” Rove said.

Myers said that Obama has had some success in Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

“It’s a swing state and Obama has done really well,” she said. “A comment I heard here today at NKU is that people have seen as many Obama ads as they have seen McCain ads. Cincinnati and Hamilton County are typically Republican strongholds and Obama is competing dollar-for-dollar.”

The Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released Oct. 28 has Obama in the lead at 49 percent to John McCain’s 45 percent.

“All these polls are great to see and give hope for winning,” Sandfoss said. “At the same time it can be a double-edged sword come election-day.”