Young voters participate in Super Tuesday

February 5, 2008 11:25:05 PM PST
A record number of young voters were expected at the polls on Super Tuesday.

They're 44 million strong young Americans eligible to vote in this year's presidential election.

"It's sort of a new phenomenon," said Assistant political science professor Jim Cottrill.

Jim Cottrill leads discussion groups on the rise of young voters at Santa Clara University.

The candidate most are supporting is Barack Obama.

"I think Obama has a message that's resonating with young voters. It's not just about policy, it's about changing the tone and having a transformation in American politics," said Cottrill.

Obama focused on the young voter early on, by holding rallies at several college campuses. His wife was even at San Jose state on Sunday.

Clinton was at Hartnell College in Salinas last month.

"I think she's making an effort to get the Latino vote and the black vote, more than she's making an effort to get the youth vote," said Obama supporter Sarah Bronstein.

Angela McIsaac disagrees. As a Clinton campaign volunteer, she says it's not about "where" the senator stumps, it's about her message.

"It really does target us in terms of breaks for college students, funding, she's really looking to help middle income America and that's what college students are," said Clinton supporter Angela McIsaac.

Students are historically not a focus for Republicans.

The Santa Clara University College Republicans say they're also looking for change -- within their own party, which means not supporting McCain who they don't consider conservative enough.

"Going forward, I think Mitt Romney has the qualities I'm looking for in a candidate," said Romney supporter Jonas Pauliukonis.

Most young voters are excited about this election because they want to make a difference. Keep in mind, most have only known a Clinton or a Bush in office and this is their chance to be a part of political history.


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