Tag Archives: university

Does the young vote matter?

It’s no secret that the young generation of voters rallied around Barack Obama and helped push him into the presidential spotlight in the 2008 election. Can he count on that vote to carry him through 2012?

The Harvard Institute of Politics conducted a survey of voters ages 18 to 29 to see who they preferred. Obama had 43% of the vote, whereas Romney has 26%. In December, Obama was at 37% and Romney was at 26%.

Obama may still have the young vote in his favor, but he should not consider the presidency in the bag. The LA Times writes about how although young voters favor him, they are also less likely to vote or volunteer for campaigns.

John Della Volpe, polling director for the Harvard Institute of Politics, gives some reasons why the interest in voting may be tapering off. “There were some factors that led people to increase engagement in ’02, ’06, ’08 — Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, not agreeing with Bush, 9/11, and obviously Obama and the use of new tools to mobilize,” explained Della Volpe. Della Volpe went on to say as students focus on getting an education, paying loans and staying afloat, political involvement is not at the forefront of concern anymore.

That is part of the push behind Obama’s current trip. Obama is visiting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Iowa this week. His main topic? How to keep the costs of college loans down. It’s a popular topic among the young voters, and if Obama’s message is loud and convincing enough, he might motivate some more voters to participate.

The problem Obama is running into? Romney voiced that he agreed with Obama’s focus. This could mean Romney could snatch some voters Obama was counting on. Overall, however, Romney has been focused middle class families.

What do you think? Do Obama and Romney need to fight to gain the young vote? Or will it be a different crowd of people who carry the election this fall?

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does Separation of Church and State Mean Anything?

Rick Santorum is well-known for his religious viewpoints, but some are starting to wonder if he has gone to far. On ABC’s “This Week”, Santorum said ““I don’t believe that the separation of church and state is absolute. The First Amendment means the free exercise of religion and that means bringing people and their faith into the public square.”

According to this article from Bloomberg, Santorum greatly disagreed with a speech former President John F. Kennedy gave in 1960 about separation of church and state. Santorum is quoted in the Huffington Post saying “ “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country…to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

According to this CBS article, Kennedy was a Catholic, which brought concern by some people. He gave a speech explained he was the Democratic candidate for president who happens to be Catholic, not the Catholic candidate for president. Santorum has built his entire campaign on his faith, and this only solidifies that approach even more.

Santorum feels that America is based on diversity and Kennedy’s speech promoted the opposite idea. Santorum expresses a viewpoint that implies that the separation of church and state would actually prohibit individuals from expressing their freedom of religion and would only end up in the government imposing their personal religious viewpoints on the average citizen.

Santorum is attempting to use this to pop some holes in President Barack Obama’s image. In the Huffington Post article, Santorum said “”[Obama believes in] some phony ideal, some phony theology … not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology.” This is not the only complaint Santorum has lodged against Obama. The Los Angeles Times explained that Santorum feels that Obama wants everyone to go to college so society can “impart liberal ideology” on young adults. He also implied it was a slap in the face to all non degree holding adults.

Santorum also expressed anger that Obama apologized for the incident in which U.S. personnel in Afghanistan burned copies of the Koran. Apologizing “shows weakness””, according to the Times article. Santorum felt that Obama could have expressed that the Koran was the Islamic Holy Book without apologizing.

How do you weigh in on this argument? Do you think America should have definite separation of church and state? Or do you think a more flexible definition needs to be afforded to encompass the right of freedom of religion?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,