Throughout 2008, one segment of the electorate that was totally in the bag early on for Barack Obama was the youth vote. But the larger question about that enthusiastic level of support throughout that year was quite basic — would they come out and vote that November?
They did, and the rest is history. But the bloom came off that rose a while ago, and the question for Democrats headed into the 2014 midterms is how they can reconstitute some enthusiasm amongst a demographic (18-33 years old) that traditionally just doesn't vote in the same numbers as other groups — like seniors, for example.
But guess what? This group of Americans (according to Governing magazine) already constitutes a quarter of the voting-age population, actually exceeding seniors.
A study released yesterday by the Democratic polling firm of Harstad Strategic Research for the Youth Engagement Fund and Project New America, shows that on most issues, this demographic's attitudes toward government is very much aligned with the Democratic Party.
For example, 72 percent support greater government involvement. Issue after issue, the young people surveyed are consistently for more progressive positions.
But there's a catch: only 28 percent say they'll definitely vote in this November's elections. In 2008 it was nearly double that, at 55 percent. No doubt strategists working at the DCCC and (one would think) up in Tallahassee are studying this document and figuring out how to generate more of the youth vote this fall. Then again maybe they already have in Florida. I mean, you have heard about Amendment Two — the medical marijuana initiative?
By the way, a shout-out to a couple of women before we head into the weekend: Barbara Walters retires from ABC today at the age of 84, although apparently she will still come back and do the occasional "big get" interviews if the situation arrives. And on a much more personal nature: London Fajkus, Creative Loafing's office manager the past 7 and a half years, is leaving us today to pursue other professional ventures. She will definitely be missed...
In other news ... If you haven't had the chance, we urge you to check out the story about Clearwater area House Democratic candidate Shawna Vercher, whose bitter battle with former NBA referee Tim Donaghy is chronicled here.
Charlie Crist was denied a chance to speak at the Council of 100 event yesterday. I'm not even sure what that group is all about, but they're heavy handed tactics just played into the former governor's hands, though Rick Scott denied he had anything to do with it.
Is there still hope for an immigration bill to come out of the House before they break for summer? Al Cardenas hopes so, and the conservative heavyweight led a group of Republicans from Florida to hold a conference call yesterday pushing the GOP to work with Democrats on such a bill.
Fast food workers who participated in a one-day strike protested in Tampa late yesterday.CL's Meaghan Habuda reports.