Daily Video

October 31, 2008

Youth Rock The Vote This Presidential Election

With record turnout expected in this year’s presidential election many people are looking to see what effect the youth vote can have. The national organization Rock The Vote says it expects youth voter participation to rise this year, as it has in the last two presidential elections.

While Senator Obama leads Senator McCain in voters under 30, both campaigns are organizing hard in battleground states to get out the vote. Kwame Holman, NewsHour correspondent, talks to Republican and Democratic organizers on the ground in Virginia about the hurdles of registering and turning out the youth vote.

At the Online NewsHour students can ask NewsHour experts Amy Walter and Stuart Rothenberg questions about the candidates’ final push in the election.


“We see ourselves in him, I think. Even though he is of another generation, people are excited about him because he seems to understand young people.”– Lauren Masterson, young voter

“More people I know are voting than Iive known before. Most of my friends now are 18, 20, 22, and they’re actually all going out to vote.”– Trevor Muhler, young voter

“I know a few people personally who aren’t voting this year, because they feel it’s such an uphill battle. I’m working every day to try to convince them otherwise.” — Josh St. Louis, George Mason University College Republicans

Warm Up Questions

1. How old do you have to be to vote?

2. Do you know any young people voting for the first time?

Discussion Questions

1. Find out what percentage of eligible voters voted in the last election? What percentage of eligible young voters voted? Why do you think the numbers are different? Why are they so low?

2. Why do you think the youth vote is skewed toward Obama?

3. What effect do you think the internet has had on this election cycle?

4. Are you excited to vote? Do you think it is a right or a privilege?

Additional Resources

Transcript of this report

PBS/YouTube Video Your Vote

Vote 2008

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