Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Blog

AAI Board Member and pollster John Zogby delivered an important message on the role of young voters in the American political process. Zogby is starting to make the media rounds ahead of the election, highlighting the important constituencies that will define the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The race is already shaping up to be highly contentious, and if national attitudes toward Romney and Obama remain the same throughout the race, the two will battle it out neck-and-neck in a near-dead heat. With numbers so tight, every vote will count. The two campaigns must do what they can to turn out their core supporters and motivate voters on the fence or otherwise apathetic about the election. Zogby has previously written two articles detailing the constituencies both Obama and Romney need to turn out in order to win the election, but more recently expressed concern about what he sees as a trend of youth “anxiety and disillusionment” with the political process. 

In the Washington Examiner Zogby says, “I truly am worried about today's twenty-somethings.”He says that young voters, especially women, are in danger of losing interest in politics altogether. He says a grand effort should be mounted to make sure young voters get out to the polls this election. Zogby says the “move from hope and grand expectations for themselves and their world to anxiety and disillusionment” is the reason it is crucial to encourage youth voter engagement. For Arab Americans, there could not be a more important time to be actively engaged in the political process. And young Arab American voters inspired by changing political dynamics in the Middle East and the move toward democracy should take that energy and excitement and apply it here toward the American political process. Recently, our community learned that Arab Americans can be a key constituency in important and contentious campaigns. Arab Americans needs to build on this momentum and energy going forward into the election by mobilizing everyone in the community.

An excerpt from the Examiner article appears below: 

Nearly four years after enthusiastic younger voters poured into polling booths to help push Barack Obama over the finish line and into the Oval Office, their hope has turned to fear and pollster John Zogby says that they are ready to give up on politics.

“I truly am worried about today's twenty-somethings,” he frets. “They are our global generation and I have seen them move from hope and grand expectations for themselves and their world to anxiety and disillusionment. We can't afford to lose them,” he adds.

Zogby previewed his remarks to the League of Women Voters 50th anniversary convention Monday night with Secrets. His worry: that younger voters will stop voting.

Read the entire article

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