Youth vote in the news 🗞: Week of 12/12
A Florida Democrat is quizzing students on local politics. More evidence that the economy is a top priority for young Americans. And Gen Z candidate Isaiah Martin suspended his campaign for Congress.
With 2024 just weeks away, Florida State Sen. Jason Pizzo is quizzing students on local politics, young people are still struggling financially, Republican candidates are traversing college campuses, and Gen Z candidate Isaiah Martin suspended his campaign for Congress.
Here are here are some of this week’s biggest stories:
'You have to earn it': Top Florida Democrat visits colleges in outreach tour to young voters, Kate Payne for WLRN Miami/South Florida, 12/11
In an effort to combat voter apathy and young people’s distrust of politicians specifically, Florida state Sen. Jason Pizzo is asking Floridians how the government can best serve them, “and one of the main constituencies that the next Senate minority leader has been turning to is … college students, making stops at a dozen public and private universities from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University to Florida Atlantic University to the University of Miami,” Payne reports.
Payne details one particular visit by Pizzo at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, for example, where students in a state and local politics class were unable to name their own state senator.
The impetus for the college tour, according to Payne, was the state Senator’s twin 17-year-old sons, “who pre-registered to vote as independents, even though their dad is a Democrat.”
“So I was like, 'What's up with that?' And they're like, ‘Yeah, you have to earn it’. I was like, 'Excuse me?' They’re like, ‘Yeah, we're gonna vote for you, obviously. But it's sort of an example. It's sort of a challenge. Because our generation, kids our age don't trust you guys. Don't think you listen to us. Don't think you have our best interests in mind,'” Pizzo told WLRN.
Op-ed: Republicans are trying harder than ever to suppress the youth vote, Victor Shi for MSNBC Opinion, 12/10
As the GOP struggles to win over young voters, Shi highlights a continued commitment from Republicans to limit youth and student voting access and says that before 2024 it’s, “crucial to support efforts to register young people to vote.”
“When those who do not vote are asked why, many young people cite how confusing the political process is,” Shi writes, citing the Harvard IOP youth poll.
“Luckily, every parent and every person who knows a young person in their life can make a difference by helping them register, make time to vote and navigate the complex electoral realities of not just national elections, but state and local elections too,” Shi writes.
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Young people are gloomy about the economy. Will they sour on Biden?, Cheyenne Haslett and Max Zahn for ABC News, 12/9
Young Americans are struggling financially and it’s impacting their feelings toward President Joe Biden, who promised student loan forgiveness but was unable to follow through on his plan thanks to the Supreme Court, Haslett and Zahn report.
Fro example, 30-year-old Liam Gude hasn’t received any student loan relief, and told ABC News that, "Biden has taken the most milquetoast position that he could,” and that the president’s executive order that would have erased up to $20,000 for borrowers wouldn’t have made much of a difference for him anyway.
“It's laughable – it's an insult," he said.
Though Gude prefers Biden over former President Donald Trump, he’s not sure whether he’ll ultimately vote for the Democratic president in 2024.
TikTok, Podcasts, and Frats: GOP 2024 Hopefuls Court the Youth Vote as Gen Z Tunes Out, Brittany Bernstein for National Review, 12/6
Bernstein explores how the top Republican contenders are targeting their campaigns toward young voters, given that the Harvard IOP youth poll from last week found that young Republicans say they’re less likely to vote in 2024 than at this point in 2019.
“The poll found fewer young Republican voters intend to cast ballots in 2024: 56 percent intend to vote in the next election, down from 66 percent in 2019,” Bernstein reports.
For his part, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie embarked on “Christie on Campus” tour in New Hampshire last week, with an eye toward reaching “new and independent voters,” according to his campaign. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has ‘Students for DeSantis’ and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has ‘Young Americans for Nikki’ and ‘Student for Haley.’ Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has been to a college frat and UFC fights. And tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has been on TikTok with influencer Jake Paul.
Martin, a self-described “Gen-Z community activist” who spearheaded an initiative to make the University of Houston campus football stadium a polling site in 2020, previously interned for Jackson Lee. He also ran for Houston City Council earlier this year, before dropping out of the race. You can read more about him here. I’m sure we’ll be seeing and hearing more from him down the line.