Forget Generation Y, We're Looking at Generation Engaged
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Think Obama's the one driving high youth turnout at the voter polls? Think again.
There's no doubt about it -- young voters are making their presence felt in record numbers. Since 2000, national youth voter turnout has increased in each election cycle; from the primaries to the general to the midterms. This is the first time since the voting age was lowered to 18 that turnout among the under-30 set has improved three straight election cycles in a row. Most encouraging, a whopping 86% of young people say they are likely to vote in November, compared to 69% who said that in September of 2006 according to Rock the Vote.
Most pundits have attributed this increase to Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama's youthful, suave intelligence. Yet, while he's clearly struck a chord with new voters, let's not confuse cause with effect. The rise of the youth vote is part of what makes an Obama candidacy possible. And 2008 is not a phenomenon.