News / USA

US Presidential Candidates Court Youth Vote

US Presidential Candidates Court Youth Votei
|| 0:00:00
X
Greg Flakus
August 30, 2012 4:52 PM
A key voting bloc in President Barack Obama's victory four years ago was the youth vote. But his Democratic Party is finding it harder to energize young voters this time around. Young citizens also are beset by economic problems, which Republicans at their national convention say their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, can fix. VOA's Greg Flakus has more on the youth vote from Tampa, Florida.]]

US Presidential Candidates Court Youth Vote

Greg Flakus
A key voting bloc in President Barack Obama's victory four years ago was the youth vote. But his Democratic Party is finding it harder to energize young voters this time around. Young citizens are also beset by economic problems, which Republicans at their national convention say their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, can fix.

While Republicans convened in Tampa Wednesday, President Obama spoke to cheering students at the University of Virginia.

"Don't just chant, you got to vote!" he said.

Polls show Obama with an advantage among young people, but it will only count if they actually get out and vote.

At the University of Tampa this week, students like Patrick Creedon registered to vote for the first time.

"I am going to be voting and I am going to be voting for Obama," he said.

Creedon says he likes the Democrats because of their positions on social issues like gay marriage and because of Republican plans to change programs like Medicare, which provides health care for seniors.

But University of Tampa student body President Matt Rutkovitz says issues like Medicare are not a concern for most of his contemporaries.

"Students aren't necessarily worried about when they are 50, 60, 70 years old, and I just think that Medicare and Medicaid are not important topics for students right now," he said.

Young people are also very tolerant and sometimes reluctant to confront those who hold different opinions.

Imani Cruz says she avoids political arguments with fellow students.

"They have a right to their opinion. I would not like anyone to put their opinion on me and I would not want to do that to somebody else," she said.

But many politically active young people do express their opinions, and hundreds took to the streets in Tampa this week to condemn Republican policies.

Most of the delegates inside the convention hall are mature adults, many having spent years working for their political party.

But every now and then you do see a young face.

One of the youngest delegates to the convention is 18-year-old Hamilton Zachariahs, who believes many people his age are disappointed by Obama.

"I think that young people will see that they are not getting the jobs they want out of college and what they were promised they did not get, and so I think a lot of young voters might see what Romney has to offer," he said.

Hamilton's father, Gary Zachariahs, an immigrant from India, thinks his son may run for office some day.

"The sky is the limit. This is America, of course!" he said.

And no doubt there will be other parents of other young political activists taking part next week in the Democratic convention, after these Republicans have gone home.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid