December 2, 2021

Gen Y Seen and Heard In Iowa: Obama and Huckabee Reap the Rewards

As we have been predicting, Generation Y voters (under the age of 30) turned out in droves in Iowa on Thursday Jan. 3 at the Iowa Caucus.  According to the nonpartisan Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, the voters under age 30 who cast their ballot in Iowa tripled, and many political analysts are saying that this young vote is why Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee won on Thursday.

Obama and Huckabee have both made a very solid effort to reach out to Gen Y.  Huckabee took 37 percent of the younger votes and Obama…a staggering 57%.  As you may know, Obama announced his candidacy on You Tube before making his announcement on live television.  He knows that younger voters use You Tube more often than television, so of course, to capture their attention early and on the first major move using their form of technology was a check mate in my opinion.

I want to talk for just a few minutes about Barack Obama.  I want to state upfront that I am a Moderate, and I am extremely impressed with Obama’s campaign.  From my perspective, his campaign will be one that we  will definitely read about  in history books, and I want to shed light on why I think Obama is appealing to Generation Y and why I think he won in Iowa (of course, only  two candidates in American history who won in Iowa actually won the election…George Herbert Walker Bush  and Jimmy Carter). 

1.  He is embracing technology as a way to reach this growing demographic of voters.

2.  Obama is a younger “outsider” who is promising to bring about radical change.

3.  Obama represents the diversity “melting pot” of our society.  Gen Y is very attracted to diversity, and people who embrace tolerance, and Obama is a walking example of it.

4.  Last summer, Obama chose to skip an AARP event (for which he took some heat) in order to attend a hip-hop event starring Usher (he knows where to go and how to connect with Gen Y).

5.  Obama has a strong presence on college campuses (he has built campaign centers on college campuses to build a grassroots connection).

6.  Obama has a strong presence on Facebook (there are more than 500 groups on Facebook supporting Obama) and over 200,000 friends on MySpace.  He is also present on Flickr, Black Planet, You Tube and Linked In.

7.  Obama actually knocked on the doors of voters under 30, introduced himself, and asked for them to get out and vote (this is quite rare in these days).  His grassroots approach is really amazing.

8.  His website is great…getting younger voters involved:  I signed up for the mailing list just to watch this in action, and the e-mails are really exciting and informative.  You can also visit his online social networking sites on the right sidebar.

So, if you have not learned yet how to reach adults ages 18-30, just watch Obama’s campaign for the next 10 months.  While he is just not going for Gen Y voters, he is doing everything he can to reach them AND get the 72 million of them out to vote.  I heard on CNN last night that Hillary Clinton is changing her approach, going for the younger female voter. I then read this morning in the Associated Press quoting a political professor at Iowa State University, Diane Bystrom, that “the lesson (in Iowa) may be generational. ‘Young women don’t have the same take on Clinton that I do.  They look at Clinton as their grandmother”.

Time will tell what will happen indeed.  My hunch is that if Obama wins the Democratic election, he will do everything he can to get college students voting by absentee and of course to make sure they get out and vote on election day.  He will also be using his online social networks to keep his name in front of people daily (I know he is in front of my eyes daily…and as I said, I am a Moderate…and this man is giving me lots of reasons to consider him as our next President)..

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