Courting That Elusive Youth Vote

So is this the year the young’uns finally go out and vote? Who knows? Christopher Beam addressed the question earlier this week over at Slate:

In 2004, the “youth vote” was supposed to break all records. It did and it didn’t—but either way, it didn’t make a difference for John Kerry, even though he won 54 percent of voters under 29. So it is with this year’s youth vote: Even if it exceeds that of four years ago—Barack Obama currently commands about 60 percent of the under-29 cohort—it will be nearly impossible to say whether it made a difference.

On Election Day 2004, kids turned out in record numbers: About 4.6 million more people under the age of 29 voted in 2004 than in 2000. Yet 18- to 29-year-olds accounted for only 17 percent of voters—roughly the same as in 2000—because the geezer vote also grew. As a result, youth mobilization was declared a myth, perhaps unjustifiably. “We rocked the vote all right,” Hunter S. Thompson said at the time. “Those little bastards betrayed us again.”

Here in Tucson, the Giffords campaign is hoping to energize the local youth with a big rock ’n’ show/fundraiser this Saturday, Sept. 20, featuring the always-astonishing Calexico alongside Mariachi Luz de Luna and Jimmy Adkins of Jimmy Eat World. Outside, a whole bunch of non-profits will be setting up shop for an ol’-fashioned political hootenany.

The balcony is sold out, but floor seats are still available, which worries us that the youth in this town aren’t cool enough to rock the vote. C’mon, people, forget the politics: You’re missing a rare chance to see Calexico rock the house.

And get this: The big show inside will be projected on the outside wall of the theater, so come on down even if you don’t want to kick in any bucks to the Giffords campaign.

By the way, Calexico’s new release, Carried to Dust? Abolutely amazing.


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