Monday, September 8, 2008

Young Voters and the Party Conventions

I was thinking this morning about which party did a better job of reaching out to young voters at the conventions these last few weeks.

New voter registration numbers indicate that the Democrats are registering many more voters, especially those under 25 years old, than the Republicans are, but the momentum seems to have changed in the last few days.

While the RNC crowd lacked many young voters and the four day program seemed to lack much attention to the issues most important to young people, the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate his stirred up a new wave of enthusiasm among young conservatives.

One article I read last week said Sarah Palin "has lived the life of the voters who will decide this election."

That line has stayed with me ever since.

"Hockey Mom," as opposed to "Hippie Mom," finds its place in the middle of the new American family:

—Hockey Mom
—Parents were high school sweethearts
—large, young family
—a special needs child
—a teenage pregnancy

That certainly is not the typical First or Second Family of Presidents passed, but it's the portrait of an increasingly common family in the United States.

Another noteworthy distinction between the "Hippie Moms" and "Hockey Moms," is that there is often less angst among the sons and daughters of Hockey Moms towards their parents. Where young voters wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton because she reminded them of their annoying parents, young voters in St. Paul for the RNC confessed to me that Sarah Palin reminded them, at least in part, of their mother or a close friend's parent....in a good way.

Barack Obama's daughters may be very telegenic, but Sarah Palin and her family's story seems as if it's been pulled straight out of a MTV reality show.

We'll see if the momentum among young voters stays with McCain/Palin in the coming weeks....

1 comment:

Jessica Cagill said...

Hockey moms like Palin, unlike soccer moms or "hippie moms" as you call them, are fighters at their core. Being a hockey/football mom myself, I agree with your assessment placing hockey moms in the portrait of the "new American family."

I can assure you Palin will receive the votes of many of my friends, but I have always been a Democrat and Palin's politics are more important than her personal story.