McCain not widely advertised to youth

September 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Senator Barack Obama (D) of Illinois, hit the 50-percent mark for the first time on Tuesday. The new gallop poll has Senator John McCain (R) of Arizona, at 42-percent. Much of Obama's support is coming from younger voters-- a demographic McCain is having a harder time reaching.

At the Republican Convention one of the most celebrated young supporters of John McCain is Jacqueline Mahan. She's been interviewed by Bill Mahr on HBO, by the BBC and The Wall Street Journal because at 18, she is the youngest California delegate at the convention.

"A friend of ours was managing the campaign for the West Coast so he asked me if I wanted to be a delegate," says Mahan.

Politically she's following in her father's footsteps since he's the online editor for a conservative Republican website.

"I think McCain is going to win for sure," says Mahan.

I asked how many of her classmates in largely-Republican Orange County are going for Barack Obama.

"Probably 80 percent are rooting for Obama right now," says Mahan.

A couple of youth delegates, teenagers also from Orange County who are at the convention say the same thing.

"Everybody makes fun of McCain just because he's old, which is no not good and they just think, 'Oh no he's not going to be president because he's too old,' which is not right. It's not a good reason," says Grace Malaihollo, a youth delegate.

These teenagers say they like John McCain, but Obama is more popular because he's got better advertising.

"It's advertised on MTV. McCain isn't getting the advertisement, like what young people see is like MTV, BET, all those music stations. Yeah, Obama is on all of those all of those," says Michelle Dionicio, a youth delegate.

Paris Hilton did an ad mentioning John McCain, but called him a wrinkly old dude.

"That wrinkly, white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad, which I guess means I'm running for president," says the Paris Hilton ad.

"That wrinkly old dude is defending our country and he cares about our country and that's the main thing that's national security and he's the only one pulling for national security," says Malaihollo.

Professor David Brady Ph.D., is deputy director of Stanford's Hoover Institution and an expert in U.S. election results.

"People under 30, along with women, the two largest demographic groups that switched from Republican to Democrat, so I think it's going to play a role in this election that it hasn't in the past," says Brady.

One thing we noticed between this convention in St. Paul and the democratic convention in Denver is that the Democrats had a much larger percentage of delegates under 30.


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