So, You Want To Be President?
In some cultures, turning thirteen is a big deal. Thirteen is the big age when you are finally a teenager. Then there is the milestone of becoming fifteen or sixteen. For most people, eighteen is the biggest birthday (other than twenty-one). At eighteen you can get a tattoo or piercing, buy a lottery ticket, join the army or vote.
Voting is one of the biggest I-am-finally-eighteen-so-I-can-do-this things among high school and college students. Voting in the presidential election at this age means finally being able to have a voice and express your freedom of being able to vote. Young people make up twenty four percent of the eligible voting population in this country so their votes definitely matter. But how are the young people deciding who to vote for is the question?
This presidential election just might be a close one. Many young voters are undecided and according to Jonah Goldberg “We’re all born idiots, and we only get over that condition as we get less young.”. The conservative believes that the voting age should be higher and that the youth has too much power in this presidential race. He is right about one thing. The youth has a lot of power in their vote.
With that being said, there are many factors considered when it comes down to first time voters casting their ballot. One of the main factors is celebrity influence. Celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z are supporting Obama which is definitely going to make a difference compared to Mitt Romney’s supporter Clint Eastwood. Beyonce and Jay-Z have younger fans compared to the brittle boned fans of Mr. Eastwood. This might give Obama one advantage over Romney. When it comes down to voting for the presidential election, it’s just like any old popularity contest. Young voters are fresh out of high school. Remember your high school class president election? More than likely, the most popular person or the friend of the most popular person won the election regardless of their platform.
I think it’s safe to say that we can expect young voters to do the same. Some celebrities have aligned themselves with presidential candidates and younger voters might do the same based on what celebrities they are fans of.
That is not the only factor. For those other voters who are not fazed by Obama hanging out with hip young stars, technology most definitely plays a part. Even though young voters are becoming increasingly politically engaged, there are quite a few who choose to avoid political rallies, conventions and other political events. But 88% of the young people are connected to the internet.
As a young person I can say that I haven’t gone a day without seeing an Obama Facebook status or a funny video of him dancing or singing on TV. For some young people this is the most they will learn about the presidential candidates. Through the internet and social media sites, young people learn more about the candidates and this definitely influences their decision as well. As far as the campaigning has gone so far, among young voters, Obama has the advance. His campaign party promoting him on the internet and supporters in Hollywood has definitely given him the upper hand.
Kingkade, Tyler. “Jonah Goldberg: Young People Are ‘So Frickin Stupid,’ Voting Age Should Be Higher (VIDEO).” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 May 2012. Web. 30 Sept. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/jonah-goldberg-young-voters-are-stupid_n_1560039.html>.
“Youth Voting.” CIRCLE Â». N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2012. <http://www.civicyouth.org/quick-facts/youth-voting/>.
“Who Are Young Voters?” Who Are Young Voters? N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2012. <http://www.completecampaigns.com/article.asp?articleid=116>.