What will it take to get young voters excited again?
July 17th, 2012
03:26 PM ET

What will it take to get young voters excited again?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Young voters are not nearly as excited about this presidential election, and that could doom Pres. Obama's chances for a second term.

A new Gallup Poll shows only 58% of registered voters between the ages of 18 and 29 say they will "definitely vote" this fall.

That's far below the national average of 78% for all registered voters.

It's also at least 20-points below the percentage of young people who planned to vote in the fall of 2004 and 2008.

Young voters were one of the key voting blocs in Obama's 2008 victory over Sen. John McCain. They overwhelmingly support the president again this time around, but they historically show up to vote in lower numbers than other groups.

There's a growing sense that the outcome of this election could come down to turnout, and if that's the case, the relative lack of interest among the youth is not a good sign for the president. Of course it's still only July, and Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have more than three months to fire up this group.

This poll also shows the percentage of blacks who say they will definitely vote is similar to the national average this year. However, Hispanic registered voters – who overwhelmingly back Obama – are another one of the groups with the lowest expected turnout. Only 64% of Hispanic voters say they will definitely vote. Again, not a good sign for the president.

But back to young people:

The outcome of this election will be enormous for our country. We're facing many critical problems, including high unemployment and a runaway national debt.

Those younger than 30 have a huge stake in all of this because whether we elect Obama or Romney could have a big impact on what kind of America they inherit.

Here’s my question to you: What will it take to get young voters excited again?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

soundoff (149 Responses)
  1. Russ in PA

    Ron Paul. Once again the only correct answer to the question...

    July 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  2. Dave - Phx

    Seeing a system that isn't so blantantly corrupted and bought for by corporations and special interest groups. In short, nothing will ever change that. Well maybe when they are all slaves with no benefits as corporations exert more will on the people.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  3. Jenna Roseville CA

    What will get young voters excited again?

    How about the Republicans giving them the ability to vote while they are at college/university without trying to block their votes.

    Young people are NOT stupid, they see how the Republicans are the party of OLD, WHITE, HOMOPHOBIC, MEN who want women treated as 2ND CLASS CITIZENS.

    Roseville CA

    July 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  4. MNResident

    A job?? A hope of a future not dependent on the will of the State?? But at least they can suck off their parents health care plan until age 25 or 26, now that the Obamatax Health Law has been ruled constitutional. But then what???

    July 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    Republicans threatening to double student loan interest. Republicans threatening to repeal Obamacare, the insurance coverage on parents' policies until age 26, etc.. The Republican War on Women, including assaults on contraception. Republican policies rewarding outsourcers, and tax loop holes for the super rich.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  6. jk in MN

    Following what Washington does more closely and taking an active part in the process-especially voting; or the "17 angry white men" aka the billionaires funding the superPACS, will have their way.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  7. David Gerstenfeld

    well Jack, maybe if someone on the ticket was a vampire or was good with a bow & arrow.
    David, las vegas

    July 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  8. Greg Turman


    Vote for Obama or you will have to get a job !

    Gregory Turman

    July 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  9. Michael

    Legalize Marijuana Jack. Not only would it make them happy their lives would not be ruined if they were arrested for

    Michael Largo FL.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
  10. Gary H. Boyd

    To have Justin Bieber and Hannah Montana run as President and Vice President respectively with Sponge Bob as their campaign manager.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    July 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  11. Ed in Harrisburg


    July 17, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Phil, georgia

    It should just take reminding them of all the great promises the President has kept which is going to helpsecure them a successful future. Staying on insurance until 26, more Grants, lower interests loans, stopped an unjust war they won't have to fight.....And there is more to come if President gets 4 more years.......for that's our job to lay a foundation where they will have a greater chance to succeed.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  13. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Have Election day the day after tomorrow instead of the wretched November! For the last 4 years the US has been electing! people are just plain tired of the whole election process!

    July 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  14. Martha Brooks

    As a product of the 60s...I would say something big, ideological or maybe another war. Perhaps a revelation that the government has once again snowed us on a huge issue, like the bank failures. Something to outrage and really sink their teeth into. In short, nothing so nebulous as Bain Capital or the as yet unknown quantity of Obamacare.

    Martha, Rew, PA

    July 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  15. Gary in San Jose, California

    Simple, Jack. A belief that they can make a difference.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  16. Phil, georgia

    Plus, once they look at Dishonest Romney who tries to give the bare minimum in everything which is Akin to hiding and the only people who like to hide are crooks and criminals;they should run to the light....Obama. This guy is talking about Kerry taxes and McCain which are in the minority of what previous candidates released. And really its only one because McCain already had years of tax returns releases for being a Senator. If you are a true leader you would step up and claimwhat you did and try to show people a better way!!!

    July 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  17. Greg in Arkansas

    Maybe every candidate could invite one "first time voter" to one of their $10,000 a pop fund raisers– "FREE OF CHARGE"– to talk about how they plan to fix the economy and create jobs that will offer a "livable wage" so the young voters will be able to raise a family and pay off their student loans before they retire.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  18. Barbara

    Maybe Rmoney could pay each one $20,000 of his Chinese Casino Mogul money. I'm sure Adelson can afford it.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  19. terence

    In September Obama will repeal all the college education debt owed by students plus interest they owe. . If that doesnt work by October he will give free college educations to everyone. Any thing for a vote is his game.
    Terence , NJ

    July 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  20. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I think it will take the start up of the draft for some young people to realize that they need to vote. When we had the draft there is more people interested in what was going on around them. If we had the draft there would have been a good possibility the country would have been saved from making one of the biggest mistakes in our history by invading Iraq on false information. Plus the Afghanistan war would have ended before Obama became president. We would have also seen Romney sons in France doing missionary work following in their father's footsteps.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  21. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    Well, let's see.....since Obama's pie in the sky "shovel ready jobs" program didn't reallyt exist, I suppose the President will have to promise something New and Exciting to the young voter....like a new "shovel ready apartment" so they can move out of their parent's basement.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  22. Pat in Michigan

    Probably a person who is of their generation who has not obvoiusly sold their souls to the corporations.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  23. Mel - Houston

    It probably would take some issues that would matter to them. Something like a progressive flat tax instead of the IRS. Take particular notice of the word progressive. That's the important difference from the model the 'publican have floated. In this model everyone would pay his fair share.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  24. Richard Texas

    Wow Jack you are the eternal optimist thinking that either Romney or Obama might have a clue as to how to fix an economy that has taken almost 100 years to destroy. I have some news for you. It isn't going to happen. That ship has sailed. When you get the foreign debt into the teens of trillions your sunk. The only thing that might come close to getting voters excited young or old is to find 2 different candidates and a third party. We have tried it for years under democrats and years under republicans and all it has gotten us is failure time and time again.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  25. Doug Ericson

    The short answer is good jobs. But I think it is deeper than that. I know from my own young 20 somethings, that they are disillusioned with Obama. I know all three voted for Obama in 2008, but not again. Two are going to vote for Romney, and one will vote for Ron Paul. Obama would be in trouble of not getting re-elected, if he lost the backing of The Republican Establishment. I havn't voted in over 30 years, and when I did it was always for a cartoon character. Would I vote if Mitt picks Paul Ryan for VP. No, just sounding like a cartoon character isn't good enough for me. Give me Goofey or forget about it. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  26. Paul Austin Texas

    A real Third Party not the half baked one's of today.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  27. jeff from florida

    I don't know ,Jack, maybe a real qualified candidate. The last 4 elections have been trying to pick the lesser of 2 evils.
    I'm 55 and I can't get excited about voting. I figure either way I get the shaft.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  28. james in greenville north carolina

    Not too sure that the young will get interested again for a few years. The young were giddy with excitement when Obama took office and now are pretty well turned off as it looks like Obama is just like all the rest, good during the election and poor while in office.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  29. david from herndon, va

    I think it's going to take a candidate who runs on a platform of preventing baby boomers from screwing over young people. That problem needs to be addressed head-on. We need sacrifice from everybody - no more of this "let's preserve medicare/social security/whatever for people 55 and over and break it apart for everybody else."

    Young people are not getting a fair shake in this economy, and there's nobody lobbying for them. Boomers have AARP - maybe we need to see a counterpart for young people.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  30. Ann from Charleston SC

    Two adult candidates might get young people interested.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  31. Brad, Portland, OR

    Young people aren't fired up because they don't see Romney as a threat to their way of life yet.

    Romney has spent all his time bashing Obama, but hasn't told us what policies he's actually in favor of.

    So the average college kid sees Romney and Obama as "pretty much the same" right now, and they're not that motivated to vote.

    Wait until the debates, when Romney will be forced to tell us what he's in favor of, and not just what he's against.

    That might very well light a fire under the college kids once they realize the price they're going to pay to give rich people more tax cuts.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  32. Phyllis G Williams

    What will it take to get young voters excited again?

    Bringing in programs to lessen the strain they have for getting
    an education, and giving them a profitable goal to work towards

    July 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  33. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, I think that once the conventions are held and the official party planks come out, young people will begin to come alive. On one side, you will have a party trying to move America forward, with liberty, equality and opportunity for all. On the other side, you will have a party trying to "take America back" to the days when wealthy white men had all the advantages, when poor people, minorities and women existed simply to serve the needs of one elite group of Americans. Young people, indeed, all people, will have a clear choice, maybe more so than in any recent election.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  34. SayWhat?

    If this year's efforts by Republicans to prevent them from voting by implementing excessive and onerous registration requirements hasn't excited (or incensed) them , then nothing will.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  35. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Someone who is not mysterious was-he-or-wasn’t-he role at Bain Capital after 1999, his equally mysterious refusal to release any tax returns from before 2010. This will create doubt for anyone we have already a mysterious president
    who lift this country in a bad financial mess, that cost the young and old people jobs, and now we have a candidate who very goods at outsourcing and like Chaney keep making money for his old or his corporation.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm |

    tampa, fl some court hearings on all of the obama's administrations dirty dealings. then when some get voted off the island, then the reality show called D.C.got talent will pick up.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  37. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Tell them the government will borrow and spend a few trillion dollars on whatever programs. It got us excited when we were younger, and voted for big borrow and spend for decades. That's how we all got rich. Well maybe not all of us, probably only those one percent folks are griping about.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  38. Paul in NC

    As the campaigns get into full swing, and it becomes obvious where Romney wants to take this country, many more young, black and hispanic people will be motivated to vote for Obama. That would also include anyone who isn't old, white, male and filthy rich. This election won't be as close as pundits think.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  39. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Not sure anything can do it now. After backing Obama in overwhelming numbers in 2008 only to get kicked in the head, I wouldn’t be too anxious to vote for him again. Unfortunately, their choice is to vote for the same person who thought Job 1 was to work on his legacy rather than on their JOBS, (in other words, someone who did nothing about jobs) and someone who will consider his election to be a mandate to get rid of as many jobs as possible. Some choice; I wouldn’t be excited either – and I’m not.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  40. Richard Hill/Colebrook,NH

    Jack, if they are 19-26 years old, going to college, it will be the fact that they can be on their parents health insurance.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  41. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Maybe if they lost their phones and couldn't send thousands of text messages a day and lightning hit them to wake them up then maybe just maybe they'd realize just how much trouble we're in and how bad things will get for them if they don't get involved. Oops, that's asking to much of the kids that are so spoiled they expect everything to be given to them without having to work for it.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  42. viguy007

    Nothing excites young people like SEX, but a good scandal is not far behind.

    July 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  43. Ed from California

    How about a future of good jobs, or perhaps a career in the food service industry will suffice for them. Clinton, Bush II, Pelosi and Boehner has stood by and allowed folks like Romney and his Bain Capital, to ship our jobs offshore just to make a profit in his case, or get re-election donations in the politicians case. Either way, we have to vote for our self best interest, and Willard isn't it.....nor is any republican.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  44. viguy007

    The United States economy has become more technology dependent. The jobs of the future will demand greater skills. Just a High School education is no longer sufficient to get a good well-paying job. Yet, I read some Americans cannot now go to College unless they, or their families, are able to take out loans for up to $50,000 or more. This is a trend that is increasing, as governments cut their support to the State University systems. The "free" and low-cost open colleges and universities, such as found in New York City, California, and many other states in the past, no longer exist. These were the true levelers of the economic playing field. They are the key ingredient to achieving the "American Dream." Education has always been the way to advance up the economic ladder. But is it now being restricted to only those who can afford it? Will future generations of ordinary Americans be able to climb that ladder and be better off then their parents were? We must ask “is the 'American Dream' disappearing for the children of ordinary working class Americans?”

    How will Mitt Romney reverse this trend if he wants to cut government spending, including aid to college students?

    July 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  45. James L.

    What will it take? Maybe if the media "journalists" would stop reporting polls, get off their derrière's and start reporting actual fact based information about the faults and accomplishments of both candidates, in detail, instead of the daily horse race, then voters would have more accurate information about who they are voting for. But the media might loose all those big bucks from endless advertising from a "neck and neck" race so, no chance of changing anything.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  46. Mycroft Lake Travis Texas

    Gosh Jack , I think the polling numbers must be rigged or rather it's another media attempt to make this Presidential race seem closer than it is, so they can sell more advertizement, because quite frankly I haven't seen the youth in this country so motivated,since the Vietnam Protest days. Just look at all the 99%ers. I would like to make a suggestion to all Obama Voters come election day: Wear Blue...With oceans of blue hitting the Voting places, the Republicans will have a much harder time stealing this election, because there is no doubt about it, the only chance they have of winning this November is by stealing the election through various methods, much like the one they stole when the supreme court selected the idiot son to our president.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  47. Kevin in CA

    A new mobile app should do it ... preferably a free one. Perhaps a "Vote caster" app so you can just punch a button and be done with it ... you know ... a "no-brainerr" kind-of-thingy. It's got to have some sick graphics though, otherwise that dog ain't gonna hunt.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  48. Annie, Atlanta

    Someone showing them how the vote they cast today could have long term effects on them, like when they're older. Good luck with that.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  49. David - Augusta, Georgia

    It will take the exictment of deciding the country's future and how it will affect them and their families as they continue to grow up.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  50. Gordon from Virginia

    Younger voters are more interested in going to the beach eating pizza and having a few brewskies right now. I think they'd rather tie one on then worry about who they're going to vote for. Of course this might be the perfect setting for the President to have a stump speech. Maybe the best way to get them charged up and excited about voting is when they're good and loaded!

    July 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  51. Sandstone

    "Commercialism! A thing that Obama knows nothing about, and so he had to hire others to do it for him. Now he has the largest regime running the USA, since WWll, difference is, it's 50% alien to anything ever before. Yes when those between the age of 18 and 38, really set their sights (not Obama's) on where they want to go, stability may, (I say may,) find a way!"

    July 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  52. Ken Wayne

    The young got excited, like we did about JFK, he was the black JFK to many. But, after four years,Obama not only did not inspire like JFK, but in many ways proved to the young that Obama was ill fitted for the job,spent more time enjoying the office than working at the office. and overall was a dismal failure at being the people's President.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  53. Karl in Flint, MI

    It's going to take the real threat of impending doom of the Romney administration to scar them into voting. They need to realize it isn't just President Obama, either, we need to get a Congress that works for the people and not Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers and the rest of the greedy 1%. The need to realize that red state efforts to limit the voting rights of a big chunk of the population and unlimited anonymous donations by the 1% are in effect buying our government. If they let this happen, they will have a lot longer to live with it then we seniors who remember when this was a great industrial nation with the finest schools, infrastructure and health care. Once it's gone, it isn't coming back. All sales are final.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  54. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    A definite plan to fix the economy and jobs, jobs, jobs. The way the money situation is now, younger people have nowhere to go. It's pretty grim out there, Jack, and if I were in that age category, I probably wouldn't vote either. What's to vote for? More of the same?

    July 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  55. Thom Richer

    Honesty, integrity, clarity, respect, character, sincerity, responsibility, accountability, dignity, honor, tolerance, dedication, ethics, morality, and competency. In other words, all the characteristics lacking in these candidates campaigning thus far. They must prove themselves worthy of the people in America...not Corporate America or Foreign governments. Good luck with that in the coming months.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    July 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  56. Dustin - Oxford, MS.

    It obvious what the young voters are excited about. They are excited about change, change from the normal politician, a politician that will not pander to them, a politician who will not lie to them and give them false hope. In 2008, the young voters believed that Obama was their answer. It turned out that Obama crushed their hopes. Everyone knows which candidate from the Republican front appealed to the young voter. When the right wing shunned away from Ron Paul, all hopes for the right wing to get a large amount of the young vote went down the toilet. That is why President Obama doesn't need to worry. The die hard Ron Paul supporters from the right will vote for Ron Paul or Gary Johnson and take votes away from Romney, because they actually feel a conviction to vote for the ideals those two candidates believe in. That is how you get young voters excited. Make the young voters adopt a candidate's ideals and apply it to their daily lives. Once a candidate has done that, the voter feels a conviction to vote for your ideals. For now at least, this country will be locked in an epic battle between the Democratic and Republican party. I'm not saying that a third party needs to be introduced in order to excite young voters, all though that looks like where we are heading within the next decade. I am saying you need a candidate to feel a sense of conviction for his or her own ideals. If a candidate has a conviction for his or her own ideals, it would be self evident. The candidate needs to back up what they say and follow through with it. The candidate needs to be inspired by their own ideals. Once the potential voter can recognize this quality in a candidate, the candidate inspired genuine inspiration in the voter, no matter the age group. Unfortunately, in these times, genuine inspiration from a politician is hard to come by.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  57. David Doherty

    Get rid of the electoral college, that has to be one of the most ridiculous things that has ever been implemented in this country. I've been against it ever since I've been old enough to vote, and in fact because of it I never voted until I was well into my forty's. It always seemed like such a joke that the popular vote could be over ruled. WHY? $$$$$$$$$$$
    Dave from NH.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  58. susan in Ohio

    The social media...i.e., hit them where they live!


    July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  59. Tom (Atlanta)

    Jack, there are two dimensions to effective leadership. One is vision and the other is getting things done. We got excited to a charismatic president who excited us, but was "all show and no go". Now we're gun shy. What we need is someone to "clearly, simply" paint the vision and say what he will do and deliver the vision do what he says. We are tired of the big claim game. It is now obvious that "this "dog won't hunt".

    July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  60. Ben from Boston

    A young energetic unlikely candidate who comes out of nowhere with good credentials able to deliver a motivational speech that vaguely endorses hope and change and who knocks off the frontrunner in their own party in an epic battle, and who has the press behind them and does not have a track record to defend – that probably would excite them. For me though Hillary is the one. She was the best candidate in 2008 and still is today. Lets remember, Hillary won in Boston and won in Massachusetts.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  61. s in fl

    Another month or two of comparing Obama to the Stepford candidate, Jack.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  62. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Why on earth should anybody be excited about the upcoming election? With 24 hour news coverage, headlines changing every 10 minutes, cameras in every politicians face, repetition of even the dullest mundane details, pabulum spun like cotton candy into breaking news, another new poll suggesting this, that, or the other, not to mention the drought, banking scandals, wars, cost of gasoline, groceries, health insurance, sexual predators lurking in schools, traffic jams, etc, etc, etc. I could go on but the excitement is killing me. Hell, I'm not even excited about the next Super Bowl yet. Whats wrong with me?

    July 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  63. Henry, Sterling Hts, Mi.

    They should be provided with, and read thoroughly, the Paul Ryan budget plan

    July 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  64. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Young voters would get more excited if the 50% unemployment rate was lowered for new college grads, and if the federal government started giving out 0% loans just like the big banks get to gamble in the derivatives market.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  65. powellmap

    We keeping hearing each side talking about how the other side has a "War On (insert flavor the day)" People will get excited again when we have candidates who dont seem to be waging a "War on Common Sense." Both sides dont have a clue.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  66. JB from Nashville

    Duh...the continued high unemployment rate and an economy that has gone to hell in a hand basket!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  67. Gail, Plano TX.

    I just asked my son if he was excited about voting in Nov. He answered, right now I'm playing my video games. It's the summer. I'm not even thinking of going back to school. But not to worry. I'll be voting for the President in November, just Like I did 4 years ago

    July 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  68. Gigi Oregon

    They need to realize the American dream is theirs to loose. Our government has been taken over by the elitist and the religious right. That has left many without jobs, homes and bank accounts due to deregulation of banks, mortgage companies. And investors sitting on their hands ("to make Presdient Obama a one term President"). Paying for a war by leaving the debt to their/our children in order to lower the elites taxes and pay large bonus to themselves. The hostage by the Republicans of government has weakened the hope of the people. And the American dream is now in their hands. Only in a Democracy is their hope. Capitalism is too be in bondage to the rich. They not only need to vote, they need to vote with knowledge of the differences.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  69. crw3

    A non-partisan candidate who is honest, moderate, and unafraid to call out the systemic failures of a contemporary American two-party system. Those kinds of bright minds are out there, but muffled, discredited, and overshadowed by career politicians who fear losing their grasp on power and will do ANYTHING to quash real change.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  70. Richard Texas

    When all you have to count on is self serving politicians it is hard to have faith in the government. Each year we see our future being sold in the form of treasury notes that we can not even pay the interest on without printing even more treasury notes. This is a vicious cycle Jack. One we can not get control of with the current system of government. We have to break the cycle of idiocy and the only way to do that is to change the way we do things in Washington. Until that happens your not going to get anyone excited about another 4 years of wasteful spending and irresponsible fiscal responsibility.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  71. Hank Corbett of Jacksonville, NC

    Young people need to know that they have more at stake on this election than anybody else. Their very future depends on it. The only way to get them to the voting booth is to persuad them of this fact.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  72. Ron Balouville CT

    Jack I know the answer to this question. " A canidate worth voting for!"

    July 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  73. Jon in Tempe, Arizona

    Make the decriminalization of marijuana an issue. That would bring them out in droves!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  74. Rachel Benshoff

    Two things
    1. More financial aid for those who can't afford it
    2. The message needs to hit home that if we don't do anything, if we don't vote we are messing up our own future. The young people need to be in office. Not the old white guys.

    19 year old student

    July 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  75. Jeff Santa Monica

    Pretty easy to get young voters excited...just give away a free joint for every vote

    July 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  76. Sam B.

    As a young person, the hypocrisy from both sides is keeping me away. I supported Obama in 2008 but watching his administration's actions has sickened me. Ron Paul might be gaining a supporter.....eek

    July 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  77. Jon, Keizer, Oregon

    Maybe an united front of both candidates, together, asking voters to actually vote this election, despite who they are voting for, just get out and vote!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  78. Bener

    H.O.P.E. This one simple word moved generations, it will move this one too.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  79. stephen

    Two words. Popular vote

    July 17, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  80. John from Alabama

    Jack: Young people only become excited about elections if it is sexy. If and when they become excited is about 6 weeks from election day. Young people do not want to get to excited early, because they might have to do alot of work. Work might interfere with texting, or video games. It might cause a young person from hooking up with that favorite person. Some young people will wait until the debates are over to get excited, but most are waiting to see what their parents are waiting for, "the polls two weeks out before getting excited."

    July 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  81. amovieadayy

    If CNN would cover the campaign of Gary Johnson, young people would undoubtedly cling to his message of seriously cutting the deficit, balancing the budget, and giving Americans more freedom from the government that pervades our entire lives personal and professional.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  82. Ryan Brennan

    Speaking as a young voter, politicians have ignored the issues we care (or should care) about because of our usual low turnout. I want a candidate who can promise that I will get Social Security and Medicare come 2045. The older voting blocks get the cushy benefits now while my prospects look bleak.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  83. Pam

    Simple Jack. Legalize marijuana, lower tuition cost and that will seal the deal!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  84. Name*Teddy Pereira


    July 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  85. Steve

    What will take is for those 2 old guys stop the mud slinging, and get back to basic, is the jobs, economy, internationmal trade and our future STUPID...........

    July 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  86. Loren, Chicago

    Who cares? They voted for Obama oberwhelmingly and those votes exposed their ignorance of his true stripes. While McCain was not a great choice, particularly with his running mate, Obama has proven to be a disaster for this country's future. Time for a change, again.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  87. george from Binghamton

    I'm a high school teacher who had numerous students who were excited about Ron Paul, why? Because of his stance on drugs, I'm not trying to be funny. Young people are more interested in discussing the legalization of marijuana than the deficit. They become extremely passionate when discussing the enormous waste the war on drugs has been, more so than the Iraq War. Sad but true.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  88. Leslie

    Maybe Obama could go on TV and play a saxophone. It worked for Bill Clinton in1992!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  89. Bob

    Honesty and Action and neither are possible with either current political party. Example: How easy to take action of illegal aliens by simply making E-Verify mandatory nationwide! Example: Do something about big oil where the big two oil company stations are 20 cents and more higher than independent yet gas comes from there refinery's! Do something about the Rich getting tax breaks (attention Republican party)! Run a good third party candidate and watch the young come out....

    July 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  90. j o'connor canada

    Education is what is needed. If the under 30 group were educated in civics and knew what was going on in their own country they would be flooding the polls for Obama. Anything else will be a disaster. Only old white rich men will benefit from a Romney win.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  91. Jim Charlotte NC

    I am looking forward to a Romney win and expect that with his 100 day plan that on June 1st everyone in America will be in the top 1%. So I'm not looking forward to those Obama fans being motivated in the least.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Steve

    simple jack...... somebody with brains to run for president.... know anyone left?

    July 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  93. Dave

    Voting for Obama merely proves you are still stupid.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  94. Bill

    The young people are excited.....just not for Romney or Obama. Been to a Ron Paul rally lately? Freedom and Liberty will always be popular.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  95. Chris, Ottawa Canada

    End the wars and legalize marijuana.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  96. Cory

    I think one big question is how many of these young voters are on their parent's health insurance. My three kids over18 are and I think they will vote Obama because of this one fact. Romney says he's going to attempt to repeal obamacare on day one. Me and my gang aren't voting him in unless he starts talking about what he's going to do about replacing their healthcare!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  97. General Tony Goskolo

    The most common issue that would bring out young voters is President Obama legalizing Marijuana!! by my estimation,about 80% of people between 18-29 smoke POT!! or dont think it should be illegal.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  98. Tonybottomline

    Jeb Bush energizing young latinos.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  99. Brian

    Im a young person and i can see that no matter if its republican or democrate we will continue to see more problems. Until we learn that this left/right paradime is just a game played by corrupt politicians to oppress the people, then we will see Real change.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  100. DaveYoung

    Twenty percent of young voters have now realized that the Pied Piper/ aka The Reditributor in Chief, is a rat himself, and has made his way back to the village with evil intent.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  101. mike / Michigan

    Ron Paul !! Simple.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  102. Tracey from New Jersey

    When you think back to your first vote in a presidential election, who do you want to have voted for? Part of the youth showing for the 2008 election was feeling like we were part of history. I was just underage at the time and sorely disappointed, but I'm looking forward to my first vote in 2012 and proudly telling my grandchildren about it.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  103. Phil

    I think Vice President and Academic Joe Biden put it best; "a three letter word JOBS" It's mostly BS

    July 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  104. Vashaun B.

    Well Jack, I think that both President Obama and Mitt Romney should refer to direct and personal aspects in young peoples lives. Then they should explain how they would be the better choice in making those situations better. One thing that both Romney and Obama should do in order to gain more votes is go into more description on how they will fix the problems in America.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  105. DaveYoung

    Obama sticks to young peoples` shoes

    July 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  106. rex in portland, oregon

    The young and therefore poor – well, with the exception of a few sons here and there – are living large with the expectancy of never having to pay any taxes to the federal government. Romney leads them to believe this, and to believe that Obama will tax their skin off at every opportunity. The young and therefore poor, well etc.... are too smart to believe Romney's kakameemee crap but still too naive to consider the absolute falseness of it all - and they waiver.
    go figure, Jack, pump lies long enough and often enough and there will be negative results. God bless us everyone.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  107. Ceemak. La.

    Maybe they are like me.....have tuned out, and turned off the campaign hype......the negative ads......I am reading a lot..........when the debates start I have every reason to believe that the youth movement will re energize.....and so will this over the hill granny.......its tooo early, and toooo hot........

    July 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  108. Bird in Portland, OR

    The generation of voters under 30 have lost faith in the government and don't believe they care about our interests or future. If Obama wants an immediate boost in the youth vote legalize marijuana and that number will jump to 80%, with a load of new registered voters.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  109. stephen

    I am 18 and going to vote in November, I actually sent my voters regesteation to my townhall today. The youth of today is much more aware about the world than preevious generations. We have access to massive welths of information. Polotitions often fail to realize that a feiw empty promises and a smile wont win over the youth. We arn't stupid.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  110. Fernando

    Well most students can relate to Obama's educational path rather than being born into a wealthy one like Romney, at least i can, most students who oppose Obama at my school say he's running a "dictatorship", criticizing his supporters as "brainwashed", yet they should listen to themselves when they say that, truth is a lot of young conservatives don't really know anything about politics but to accuse Obama...

    July 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  111. Steve Rdna, KS

    More than glad to tell you how to get, the youth off their parents couch and, get involved in the government process.. Bring back the draft. It is time that .25 of 1% of Americans protect the rights of this lazy generation of video players.Want to bet me that they will be voting, marching and protesting, just like the 1960's.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  112. Drake

    As a registered voter between the ages of 18-26, both of these candidates suck. Both are for big government; one might be a felon; and the other is pushing for socialism. Obama is destroying the economy by having the middle class pay for his unconstitutional policies. And Romney outsources jobs which also destroys the middle class. How do you expect us to choose between these two?

    July 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  113. Richard Page Rapid City, SD

    emphasize the fact that when they sat out the midterm elections it cost them almost all the hope and change they voted for in the first place.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  114. mikerwinna

    Young people are not stupid. They are fresh and raw, and still forming their opinions. To get them interested in voting again, it might help to change the tone of public discussion. All they see are so-called adults on 24-hour "news" channels, arguing back and forth over ideology.. and very little that is actually news, or information that is relevant to them. Perhaps we can actually start covering the news again? Perhaps politics can be about much more than who is running this year, and who is voting for whom? You're right to be concerned, but as older adults, we're failing the younger ones by allowing such nonsense to permeate the airwaves each and every day. And we can't blame them for being so turned off; even if the results will impact them for the rest of their lives. There's a lot of talk and a lot of anger right now, and not enough leadership to help point us in the right direction.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  115. ndiksman

    Tell them its ok to get rich.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  116. Yetty

    "...including high unemployment and a runaway national debt? Really Jack? Where was your assesment when Bush was in the office? Nice try Jack!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  117. Mikee Denver CO

    If the USA cannot provide job opportunities to our students, then abolish all their student loans.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  118. General Tony Goskolo from Houston Tx

    just two words..... Legalize Marijuana!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  119. Jimmie - Michigan

    I'd be more excited if one of them would vow to reduce the cost of higher eduacation to zero. Still, as an African – American I am overwhelmingly for gay marriage so the president has my vote so far due to his decision not to show prejudice to other Americans.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  120. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Sadly, it'll take two words to get the youth of America fired up: Jersey Shore.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  121. Michael Seattle

    Speaking as an 18 year-old, first-time voter, we can't see how this election is supposed to be for us as much as for seniors in Boca Raton. If we felt that politicians actually listened to us, maybe we'd help them out. Instead, we are just told again and again that our generation is terrible in school, addicted to electronics, and a bunch of teen parents. They throw us the student loan bill as evidence that they work for us, but all it shows us is that they have no idea what our actual day-to-day problems are. Maybe if someone would make our neighborhoods safer, or let my best friend marry someone he loves, even if that person is a man, my tone would be different. I'll be voting in November, but I can't say the same for a lot of my friends.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  122. Rattles

    For politicians to stop acting like giant infants, stop opposing each other just because you don't want the other side to "win." It's juvenile, and quite frankly it feels like I have to choose from the lesser of two evils rather than voting for someone I feel confident in. It feels like a game, a popularity contest, a big fat joke. We're not excited because we're not given a reason to be, even if we listed everything that would get us pumped for an election, no one listens. It's all built to benefit the wealthy, elections, law, all of it. But here we are busting our asses working 40+ hours a week or looking for a job while people at the top go to lavish parties, "fundraisers" and expensive dinners. None of that is real. That's why we don't care.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  123. Bryan

    Sensible drug law reform is what I am looking for a candidate to address. The amount of people locked up at tax payers expense is unbelievable for non violent drug crimes.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  124. Robert in OK

    It's a difficult proposition to be excited for anything when the job market is bad, education costs more, wages are low, and the constant banter back and forth between the members of Congress continue. Offer real opportunities in the country without a polarizing and demonized political affiliations, and young people will be excited to participate again. Crap, I am old and I am even depressed with it....

    July 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  125. Cindy

    A job that pays a living wage, the same as the over fifty population who have lost their jobs and finding it just as difficult to get a job. If you have income it makes life more exciting.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  126. Libby

    If any under (or over) 30's plan to vote for either Obama or R-money, they can do their country a great service and stay home on Nov. 6. They clearly are not aware of reality and would be voting for more of the same, which is attractive to only a few select groups of people: those living on the government tit, are government employees, or work for government contractors.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  127. Mike in NC

    Howabout a little appreciation shown our way. There is a sense that young people haven't accomplished anything or that they are lazy. Well the majority of us may not have fought in wars or done back breaking work in factories but sitting through 8,9 or 10 years of education, requirements and internships isn't easy. Especially since now all we have to show for it is a mountain of debt and underemployment.

    I don't see too many new technologies or companies being started today by baby boomers on up. A little appreciation can go a long ways...

    July 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  128. Lou

    If obama wants to fire up the youth vote in America he need to stop ignoring our opinion on marijuana most of us know its safer than alcohol and prohibition has never worked. And think of the jobs how many Americans would benefit from bringing this industry out of the shadows?

    July 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  129. Jordan

    How about getting teachers to cover election policies within the classroom that directly effect the younger generation to get them at least thinking about their future.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  130. 1grasshopper

    Not being disappointed in the candidates any and everytime they vote would help.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  131. Zach

    As a 20 year old college student at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana) I feel this question directly applies to me. Youth want transparency. The declarations of hope and change from Obama clearly no longer apply when considering his record. Continually blaming others for his problems and relentless attack ads that reveal more about his own character than that of his opponent. What happened to "the buck stops here"? Cut some of the politics out of the equation.
    And Romney needs to actually share his plans with the people. He is incredibly vague in everything. Why should I vote for him if he won't explain how he actually intends to repair the economy? I don't care if he outsourced jobs or paid less in taxes. He's a businessman, and that's what businessmen do, try to make money. What I do care about is how he intends to keep that wealth within the country if he should become president.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  132. Matt

    A better choice would get young people excited. A third, fourth, and fifth party with a competing chance against the current and ongoing corruption and disservice which includes both democrats and republicans.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  133. Jim from Mesa, AZ

    Republicans aren't who they say they are, they refer to Reagan every time, yet aren't anywhere near the republican beliefs he held back then, living in a conservative town it seems as though anyone who criticizes Obama is okay with them, in order to attract young voters he must do one thing: "ask them what they think Romney will do for them".

    July 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  134. Melissa

    As a 29 year old living in Dallas, Texas I see no reason to vote in the Presidental Election. Romney will win Texas whether or not I cast my vote for Obama. When my vote counts, I will use it.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  135. Core republican Values

    I think integrity excites young voters. That's why Romney is struggling with the younger age groups.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  136. msuwebmanager

    Free wi-fi and a promise to save the planet.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  137. Matt - Washington

    Actually proposing solutions to problems would get me excited to vote, but politicians seem to only know how to showboat and try not to offend the masses. And I don't view spending more money on broken systems as a working solution in any scenario.

    Broken systems:

    Unfunded Social Security
    17% of GDP Healthcare Spending
    Rampant Defense Spending
    Complicated Tax System
    Disproportion between Public/Private Compensation Packages
    Unlimited Campaign Funding
    Political Lobbying
    Education System
    Unbalanced Budget
    Lack of Financial Regulation
    Minimum Wage not keeping up with Cost of Living
    Overall Uncertainty with no Punishment to Politicans

    These are the big picture items that I would like to see addressed but anytime someone proposes a solution the masses cut them down because there is always a group that is negatively affected. We need to think more like Utilitarians and make changes for the greater good of the country and our future.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  138. The Tao of George

    It doesn't matter who gets elected to the presidency if either candidate doesn't listen to the young voters. Young voters went in droves to vote for Obama in 2008 because he spoke the message of frustration that every young voter in America was feeling at the time. However all of us realized that without the cooperation of a partisan controlled Congress, any policies that can move the country forward cannot be accomplished. Also both parties seem to focus more on the baby boomer generation than the future generation that will run this country. In order for young voters to come back this year, every politician must shift their policies on providing a future for the coming generation, not protecting the sanctity of the last.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  139. Donaldo in ATL

    My 2 adult children get excited about their jobs, friends, and things they enjoy. Politics is not on their list. You can thank the media for this. They see friends without jobs, ,many living at home, so you can only imagine what they are thinking. The media with all the analysts and talking heads are simply alienating them from any real discussion that means anything. Thanks Jack..

    July 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  140. irving

    What is needed is what all parties ,club ,and gathers want most... Accountability. Real everyday Americans don't get a break for the laws they break. Or have the money needed to bend them or hide. I wish congress would be more American. Being American means to fight for and defend freedom. Not fight for and defend capitalism.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  141. Tim TX

    if the young people see what Mitt Romney is really up to i think they would re-elect Obama after all romney wants to make cuts in the wrong places and college tuition is one of them. Obama gets my vote

    July 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  142. Ed in Sacramento

    More handouts and empty promises for the future...sarcasm intended!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  143. Langston

    Well Jack, for starters, more accuracy in polling statistics, less horse-race jorunalism. We are here and we will turn out come November. As I sit preparing for graduate school all I can ask is, will I have job opportunity once I complete school? Will I have a body of competent law makers that do the right things when no one is looking? Will I be paying windfalls of hard earned money into a Social Security System knowingly that I will never see a return? My back already hurts from carrying my own weight in our shot out economy. I can no longer carry the weight of our senior citizens, the same senior citizens that are responsible for our current economic woes. I believe I speak for all youth in the US.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  144. Diane

    If I were a young voter which I am not, it would take a miracle to get me excited about either candidate. We have a president that promised change to the young and middle class and we know that never happened, we have a congress that act worse than a bunch of high schoolers and a presidential candidate that can't seem to fire up anybody except for what he did in the past with his business dealings. The young voter must look to the future and wonder how they are going to survive, especially after watching their parents retirement plans disappear, opportunity for good paying jobs dwindle, fear of standing in line for one of 800 jobs when 10,000 people apply. Try finding some excitement in all of that, again the young voter needs a miracle.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  145. Larry in Houston

    What will it take to get young voters excited again?
    Answer : That's right – "Back to Young People"
    I've been saying this for a year and a half. You know what it's going to take ? the answer is : "18 – 34" read between the lines, if they don't do it for him, he's SUNK, I tell you Sunk !

    July 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  146. irving

    I want someone to tell the big wigs capitalism is a privilege not a right.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  147. bc in LA

    Reinstate the draft, that would get young people interested in who becomes our next President........

    July 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  148. Nancy, Cunningham, TN

    Nothing energizes a younger generation more in politics than having an older person try to tell them how to vote. They then make up their own mind and make sure they cast their vote. The baby boomers need to voice their opinions more!

    July 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  149. c

    RON PAUL!!!! Obama and Romney are the same; same invasive police state policies, same war mongers, same health care, same foreign policy, same slaves to the military industrial complex, big corporations and big pharma; nothing will change, only worsen beneath either of them. RON PAUL is honest, and is only politician out there willing to fight the corrupt banking and war mongering United States government. Ron Paul has the youth, which is why, he can never win. The old guard likes destroying our nation, while the youth recognize the status quo will destroy our nation from within.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm |