College Crowd Both Indispensable, Ignored in Political Campaigns

By Carter, Ray | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 4, 2004 | Go to article overview

College Crowd Both Indispensable, Ignored in Political Campaigns


Carter, Ray, THE JOURNAL RECORD


In the world of political campaigns, the college crowd has the distinction of being both indispensable and largely ignored.

On the one hand, the average political campaign would fall apart without young workers.

They are the backbone, quite frankly, of most campaigns, said Jay Parmley, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. One: It's not great pay, but it's wonderful experience. Young people often want the experience and they can make a little money in the process. And secondly, their schedules seem to fit well for campaigns having the summer months off and sometimes they take a semester off of school or they work around their school for September and October.

On the other hand, 20-something voters are the least dependable voting block in the electorate and reaching them is usually a low priority for candidates.

It definitely isn't the demographic that either party relies on to get out to vote, said Chad Warmington, political director for the Republican State House Committee.

The 1972 election was the first presidential election in which 18- year-olds could vote and 55 percent of 18- to 24-year-old citizens cast ballots that year, according to The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Since that time, voting participation among 18- to 24-year-olds has declined to only 42 percent of eligible young voters in 2000, according to the center.

In comparison, the center reports that 66 percent of adult citizens over age 25 voted in 2000, down only slightly from 68 percent in 1972.

The only exception to the decline in youth voting was a spike in 1992 when the independent candidacy of Ross Perot was credited with attracting young voters. That year 51 percent of citizens age 18-24 cast a vote.

In Oklahoma, 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-old citizens voted in the 2000 elections, which was 12 percentage points lower than the rate seen in 1972.

'Completely ignored'

One reason for the low rate of voting by college-age voters is negative perception of politics, according to Anne Cockrill, 21, a political science major at the University of Oklahoma who worked on Tom Coburn's Senate campaign last summer.

Generally, when people hear the word 'politics,' it's not viewed as something positive, Cockrill said. It comes with a negative connotation, I think. They think it's corrupt. Very rarely is there anything positive said about it.

Carri Perrier, a 21-year-old student at Oklahoma City University who has been active in Republican campaigns, said the demands of college life also interfere with political activity.

I think at this age and at this level, a lot of people are still trying to figure out who they are, Perrier, said. What they want to be is obviously at the forefront when they're trying to pursue their education.

She said many students are very goal-oriented, become caught up in college life and forget that there is a life and a world outside of the university.

Renee Delight Emery, a 20-year-old Democrat from Broken Arrow who is working this year as the campaign manager for a state House candidate, said one reason for voter apathy among the college crowd is a lack of outreach by candidates.

They have completely ignored youth for years, Emery said. You see mail pieces, commercials and ads that are catered towards the elderly that are catered towards soccer moms - we talk about all these groups. But of course if you're not making an effort as a campaign in any party to make advertisements or do ads or do concerts that are aimed towards young people, then of course they're not going to show up. It's a no-brainer.

That view is shared by John Pettis Jr., age 22 and a Democratic campaign worker in the Oklahoma City area.

Sometimes the political parties and candidates don't really truly try and put enough energy to reach out to younger folks, Pettis said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

College Crowd Both Indispensable, Ignored in Political Campaigns
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.