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July 22nd, 2008
04:30 PM ET

How can the GOP excite young voters?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The next generation of Republicans is not optimistic and is fretting over its inability to connect with younger voters.

The head of the Young Republicans tells the Washington Post his party is "staring down a very long, dark, quiet night." He's probably right. A recent poll shows voters under 30 are more than twice as likely to identify themselves as Democrats. A lot has changed. In 1984, Ronald Reagan won 59 percent of the young vote. In 1992, they were split about evenly between the two parties. But since then, Democrats have gained ground in every election.

Usually the parties don't pay all that much attention to young voters, since they notoriously don't show up to vote. But this election could be different. Record numbers of young people voted in the primaries.

The up-and-coming Republicans also have mixed feelings about John McCain. Some worry he isn't conservative enough on issues like taxes and immigration reform. The head of the Young Republicans talks about how Obama has inspired a whole generation of voters, while McCain hasn't done a good job communicating about issues like the war and economy – causing younger Americans to turn away from the Republican Party.

The head of the Young Republicans thinks the Arizona Senator can still attract young voters by reaching out to them through social networking web sites and by showing his sense of humor through more appearances on late night talk shows.

Here’s my question to you: How can the Republican Party excite young voters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • GOP
July 22nd, 2008
04:20 PM ET

How important is McCain's V.P. pick?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Talk is suddenly heating up that John McCain might name his vice presidential partner in the next few days. Sources tell CNN there have been recent discussions high in the campaign of doing so. But there are also a bunch of other ideas on the table: hold off until after Barack Obama has named his V.P. pick, or have McCain name his running mate after the Democratic convention. Campaign sources say all these options have been discussed, but no decisions have been made.

Meanwhile, McCain is scheduled to meet with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal tomorrow, which could spark more speculation that he's on the short list for vice president. If an announcement comes this week it could grab some of the media attention away from Obama's overseas travels.

Usually little importance is given to vice presidential picks. But some believe that it could be more significant to McCain's campaign because of his age – he'll turn 72 next month. The Politico reports McCain's string of verbal slips have some people wondering if these mistakes are due to his age.

Just yesterday McCain talked about the "Iraq-Pakistan" border... Afghanistan shares a border with Pakistan, not Iraq. He recently referred to "Somalia" instead of "Sudan" as well as twice mentioning "Czechoslovakia", a country that hasn't existed for 15 years. Last year McCain referred to "President Putin of Germany”, instead of "Russia”. And of course this spring he confused Sunnis and Shiites while on a trip to the Middle East.

The McCain campaign says Obama has made plenty of his own flubs, and they point out that McCain spends more time than Obama talking off the cuff – taking questions from voters and reporters.

Here’s my question to you: How important is John McCain's V.P. pick?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain
July 22nd, 2008
01:37 PM ET

Will Obama’s overseas trip help him in November?

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Barack Obama calls on a reporter during a press conference in Amman, Jordan. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama is pitching a shutout so far on his trip overseas.

What might be the most complicated part of his journey – into the war zone in Iraq and Afghanistan – seems to have gone off without a hitch. In fact, Obama couldn't have hoped for better timing – with Nuri al-Maliki's government choosing the day he was in Iraq to say that U.S. troops should be out of his country by 2010. That's a date that matches up perfectly with Obama's plan to remove troops within 16 months of when he would take office. And it gives Obama much more credibility on foreign policy, an area where critics say he lacks experience.

Obama is visiting Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories before he goes on to Europe. Meanwhile, his campaign is trying to play down the role of politics in his travels, painting it as a listening tour. But The Politico points out that's kind of tricky to do when you consider the stagecraft and planning that's going into some of these events. Take for example Obama's speech scheduled Thursday in Berlin, which could draw tens of thousands of people. The campaign, which insists the speech is "not for campaign purposes," might get film crews to shoot it – perhaps for a TV commercial. He's on the cover of Der Spiegel magazine under the headline: Germany meets the superstar.

As for John McCain, Obama's overseas adventures may have turned into a case of "be careful what you wish for." McCain badgered Obama for weeks to go, particularly to Iraq, and now Obama is sucking up all of the media attention and and generally getting rave reviews.

Here’s my question to you: How will Barack Obama's overseas trip affect his chances of winning the election?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama