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CIRCLE has numbers about yesterday's vote in the special election for the US Senate seat in Massachusetts.

According to the briefing:

"Tisch College, Medford/Somerville, Mass - In the special election for Massachusetts Senator, young voters (age 18-29) preferred Democrat Martha Coakley over Republican Scott Brown by 58%-40% (with 2% for other candidates), according to a survey of 1,000 voters conducted on January 19, by Rasmussen Reports.

About 15% of Massachusetts citizens between the ages of 18-29 turned out to vote.* For citizens age 30 and older, turnout was about 57%.

For comparison: 25% of young citizens (age 18-29) voted in the 2008 Massachusetts presidential primaries, and 47.8% of young Massachusetts citizens voted in the 2008 presidential elections, according to CIRCLE’s analysis. Seventy-eight percent of under-30 voters in Massachusetts chose Barack Obama in the 2008 general election; 20% chose John McCain."

Part of me is angry that we lost this seat to someone who doesn't support the youth agenda, but the major part of me is that young people obviously supported Coakley but there was - according to one political insider "Zero" outreach from the Coakley campaign to young voters.

This didn't need to happen.

As one person reminded me - Massachusetts is a state with one of the largest student population in the country.  It is an embarrassment that there was such a huge resource available to the Coakley but it was cast aside.

I just did a skype interview with the Millennials Changing America blog that is done by Mike and Morley authors of Millennial Makeover.  I was asked what the biggest failures I've seen both from the White House and from Congress are and my response was that its been a total lack of outreach on their part to young people around meaningful policy initiatives.  

Young people continue to be the largest supporters for the President, they continue to be the largest supporters for meaningful Health Care Reform, but not once did the White House or Congress reach out to youth leaders and say "what can we do to bring young voters into this debate?"  

It begs the question - is the Democratic Party abandoning young people despite young people being their base of support?

Crossposted from FutureMajority

UPDATE:  This is interesting.  I just got an email from a field organizer who said that many of the folks from a nearby state who were working on the ground moved over to Coakley's campaign to help.  They specifically told the DSCC that they thought it might be helpful to mobilize around UMASS Amherst who were coming back to school this week.  DSCC said - great we'll have our youth person give you a call - no one ever did.  (Turns out... there is no youth person)

UPDATE 2: The Cook Report's @Dave_Wasserman has been tweeting about district breakdowns for results.  Holyoke, MA (which is home to all-girls Mount Holyoke College and right in the middle of the cluster UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Hampshire College, and Smith) also failed to turn out the vote.  As a friend who pointed this out said - The fact that two of those schools are all-girls and politically active, and Coakley didn't mobilize them, is shameful.  

Originally posted to Sarahkatheryn on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 01:33 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No movement, of any kind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sarahkatheryn, scotths

    can survive if it doesn't reach out to younger generations.

    I don't know why this lesson keeps having to be re-learned, but how can we help get it across?

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 01:36:12 PM PST

  •  I think it's a valid question, I wouldn't say (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, alizard, Sarahkatheryn

    Young People are their "base of support", but we are a part of the base. I think what's happening is all of the young people who were "fired up and ready to go" in 2008 aren't seeing what they thought they'd see. Fair or not, there hasn't been much "audacity" in Washington, at least not much that would actually help us out. I know personally, that I'm finding this all incredibly frustrating, and I'm someone that has voted in every possible election since I turned 18, so someone who really doesn't care and/or just voted for the first time in 2008 isn't going to be all that motivated to go to the polls.

    I haven't seen much outreach to younger voters, but then I admit I may just be missing it.

  •  A commentator on CNN this morning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, moonpal

    said something so simple and yet so true that it took my breath away.  She said that people that supported President Obama in 2008 support him and him alone - they were motivated to volunteer, donate and vote by the personal charisma of the man himself.  They feel no obligation whatsoever to the Democratic Party, and indeed were given no incentive to do so.  It was assumed that their one-time vote put them in the DNC tank for all time, and they were taken for granted.  An election without his name on the ballot was met, and will be met again, with a collective yawn...

    No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

    by jarhead5536 on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 01:39:47 PM PST

  •  Why did you limit your question to young (0+ / 0-)

    voters? Seems to me it's all voters...

    "I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence."

    by logsol on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 01:40:29 PM PST

  •  I don't get it, they don't turn out to vote (0+ / 0-)

    and we're abandoning them?  Isn't it the other way around?  Would they have abandoned us if they weren't relegated to "fringe" after the presidential election?
    Just asking.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 01:54:29 PM PST

  •  Corporate Dems (3+ / 0-)

    are Trojan horse Republicans;  We want a PROGRESSIVE! and someone who can unify our state.  The short time for campaigning hurt Capuano, but he should run again.

    Our economic picture has gotten grimmer and grimmer with each Republican . . . Weld, Mitt . . . they have hurt our state . . . the Big Dig with all its corruption, the lack of real care about serving here as a stepping stone to other ambitions.  Yikes.

    Skidmarks Brown lacks the intellect or the discernment or the refinement to last long.  No depth.  Just another show pony making a name for himself by any available means while he advances himself.

    The only real nation is humanity-Dr. Paul Farmer

    by Septima on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 02:26:56 PM PST

  •  They were used to elect Obama... (0+ / 0-)

    like the GOP used (and continues to use) the Christian Conservatives.  Pay lip service to their concerns (the wars, climate change), then in a very disingenuous and cynical manner, ignore those concerns once elected.  It is a shame, for a guy who mobilized a whole new generation into political activism, to so quickly turn his back on all the idealism, the potential to organize, and all the genuine enthusiasm.  Like Watergate and Nixon in the 1970's, the unfolding Obama presidency, triangulated on corporate power and wealth, will likely alientate and create a whole new segment of cynical, disenfranchised young voters.  A pity, really.  Thanks a lot, Rahm.

    •  I wouldn't say used (0+ / 0-)

      Even after Bush was elected there was a special Faith Based Outreach person in the Office of Public Liaison, the administration did events at churches, clergy had an open door to the President and they did consistent outreach to them.  This hasn't happened at all with youth.

      Work together to save the world.

      by Sarahkatheryn on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 03:55:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a way to get young voters (1+ / 0-)

    FWIW I am trying to do something about the younger voter outreach.

    This was today's post that scrolled down the latest diary list faster than anyone could read it but I think this makes a real difference.

    I'll make iPhone apps and Android apps for EVERY candidate free - I just need the candidate info so I need help :-)

    see the diary for details

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    No single raindrop believes it is to blame for the flood

    by ResponsibleAccountable on Wed Jan 20, 2010 at 03:11:48 PM PST

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