Where the Young Voters Are
ALISON STEWART, host:
The elusive 18 to 24-year-old vote. Who could coax these people to the polls? Well, according to the just-released study from Harvard University's Institute of Politics and their respective parties, Barack Obama and Rudy Giuliani were the first choices for 18 and 24-year-old potential voters, followed by Hillary Clinton and John McCain.
The poll did reveal some bad news for Obama. One of his campaign gimmicks, the seven available ringtones on his Web site - like this one:
(Soundbite of Barack Obama's campaign ringtone)
Unidentified Man #1: (Singing) Go, go, go, Obama, Obama. Oh, go, go go, Obama, Obama.
STEWART: Well, ringtones got a bit whatever from this voting bloc. Only 13 percent said they would download a candidate ringtone. Sorry. Maybe, they haven't heard this one from Ron Paul.
(Soundbite of Ron Paul's campaign ringtone)
Unidentified Man #2: (Singing) Ron Paul is here.
Unidentified Man #3: You know.
Unidentified Man #2: Making people be aware. Ron Paul is here. Make sure your votes will (unintelligible) next year.
STEWART: Yeah, well, Ron Paul has used the Internet to raise a lot of money. He just announced he raised $9.7 million in a three months via the Web.
Don't know if it's from younger voters - when you consider these results from the poll - when asked if they would donate 9.99 or less on their cell phone, only 11 percent said they would. Only 19 percent said they would donate money through a campaign Web site, but young voters will do something if it's free. Sixty percent said they would spread a campaign message to a family or a friend. Fifty-nine percent said they would join a candidate social networking site. So those 198,000 friends of Obama has on MySpace, bodes well for the Democrat - the youngest guy in the race.
Among the Republicans, the two oldest candidates, 72-year-old Paul and 71-year-old John McCain have the most MySpace pals; 94,000 for Paul, 40,000 for McCain.
In fact, this week the Arizona senator was the first Republican to take part in the MySpace MTV-form where he addressed the second most important issue to young voters after the war in Iraq. It's health care.
Mr. JOHN McCAIN (Republican, Arizona): We need to have our insurance companies reward people who practice wellness and fitness. One of the alarming aspects of America today as many of you know is the increase amongst young people of obesity, diabetes and heart problems.
But the whole incentive should be on the person who has the health insurance to use it wisely and carefully in the most effective way. Thank you for question. And I would like to compliment you already - maybe prematurely - on the quality of questions that I'm getting tonight. Thank you.
STEWART: Never hurt to kiss up to your potential voters who may show up to the polls. In fact, seventy-seven percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said they will vote for president in 2008.
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