Both parties seek 'young' votes

Wednesday, September 3rd 2008, 11:13 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Both political parties have attempted to lure voters to the polls, paying special attention to the youth vote.

Young Democrats and Republicans realize they are a sought after demographic among both parties.

According to Rock the Vote, 44 million youth votes are up for grabs.

When Governor Bill Clinton played the sax on the Arsenio show 16 years ago, it was clearly a push to appeal by the Democrats to clinch the youth vote.

Today, the momentum continued, as 631 youth delegates attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver last week.

"We're trying to attract young voters and really capitalize on the enthusiasm that the Obama campaign has generated," said Tya Smith, member of Young Democrats of Oklahoma.

The Republicans have 19-year old newly-elected Mayor John Hammons (R-Muskogee) as a delegate for the Republican National Convention.

"We see things. We view things in a whole other way," Hammons said. "We are the global generation in short."

Hammons said the issues his generation is most concerned with affect everyone on the planet.

"We think of things like global terrorism, global climate change and global hunger," Hammons said. "These are things that we are concerned with and we want to see eradicated."

Young Democrats said they're also concern the issues, but Smith said the economy trumps them all.

"People are more inclined to feel concerned about things that are affecting them personally here at home and not just the terrorism issue," Smith said.

Mayor Hammons is one of 42 youth delegates at the Republican National Convention.

This will be the first presidential election Hammons will be eligible to vote in, as he turns 20-year-old Thursday.