Thursday, June 21, 2012

"The Great Voter Tune-Out of 2012"

"Youth voter turnout, 2012 vs 2008 primaries" (courtesy Jason Rzepka) 
Micah Sifry (TechPesident):
It's the "'meh'-ing" of the president, says Roger Simon. "The 2012 campaign is the smallest ever," says another headline in Politico. All over the political landscape, signs abound of a dismal political season.
No one seems to want to read stories about Mitt Romney, Buzzfeed reports, noting that online traffic to a variety of political websites from the conservative Daily Caller to the center-liberal Atlantic to their own buzz-machine is a tenth of the attention flowing to stories about President Obama. And lest lefties take heart in that factoid, consider the results of a straw poll taken earlier this week at the Take Back the American Dream conference, where half the progressive leaders in attendance said they were "less enthusiastic" about the election than they were in 2008.
Youth engagement in particular is down. As MTV's Jason Rzepka pointed out in his plenary talk at PDF June 12th, turnout by young voters in the 2012 primary races was a fraction of voting levels in 2008. This is not surprising given the lack of a Democratic primary battle this time. And efforts like MTV's soon to be launched Fantasy Election just might help make a few college-age kids a bit more involved, though you can only "gamify" a bad game so much, and if politics isn't saying much to young people, it's not surprising if many of them tune it out too. MORE...

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