Obama's youth coalition. Why do young voters find Obama so appealing? Read on.
| The public is no stranger to Barack Obama and his particularly fervent youth following. The man can be seen on shirts crowding into college classrooms and high schools across the nation. No other candidate has so enraptured youth voters, a contingent that’s especially hard to please. In fact, the last person to excite young voters in such a manner was Robert Kennedy in the 68’ election. So what makes a candidate so worthy of our time? After discussing the matter with peers, I have discovered a few key components that prompt youth to stand up and take notice.
Among Obama’s talents is his ability to inspire voters through speech. His rhetorical skills are unmatched by any of the other candidates, and few in the history of politics. Although Obama’s impassioned addresses leave many in awe, those most affected are the youth of this nation. “I think it’s important for the leader of our country to be a good speaker, and I appreciate Obama’s rhetoric,” said Indiana High School senior Arvi Mohan, “I believe it is an important asset, not only in world politics, but in bridging the gap to accomplish common goals between democrats and republicans.”
Let’s face it, teens aren’t politics junkies, nor are they serial news viewers, but this shouldn’t be mistaken for indifference. Young voters tend to pay less attention to the issues, and hold more importance in the overall message of the candidate. Obama has one of the strongest messages among them, change and hope. It doesn’t take a broad world view or extensive knowledge of government to realize that America is headed in the wrong direction. Obama is the only candidate that seems to guarantee a change. “Because things are unpredictable, you can’t just rely on their specific issue stances right now, you have to somewhat rely on the kind of judgment you think they have as a person, and the kind of integrity they have, and what their moral compass is,” said recording artist John Legend, who has recently endorsed Obama. To teens, this idea is more profound, and greatly contributes to their support for Obama.
Obama’s bipartisan pledge also appeals to young adults, many of whom have not yet established their political party. Bipartisanship ensures two things to young voters, that things will get accomplished and that political machines will be less likely to corrupt the process. Because many young people tend to be idealists, this idea creates a sense of security in the political process.
Finally, Obama believes in the young people of this nation. Unlike many other candidates, he does not discount their importance or underestimate the power that they hold in the political process. This is refreshing, and immediately attracts a youth following who are equally dedicated to Obama’s cause. By portraying himself as the future of politics, and young people as the future of this nation, Obama creates a companionship that has served him well.
Continually voters between the ages 18 and 30 are coming out in record numbers to vote for Obama. CBS news declares that “Barack Obama’s victory in the Iowa caucuses was driven by his support from a new political generation.” In Pennsylvania this new generation is no less passionate. Across the state there are over 30 chapters of Students for Barack Obama, a club at both the high school and collegiate level that is campaigning for his victory this April. Obama and his youth coalition are proving to the nation, “yes we can.”