Fix Features

Election 2012

Baylor Myers, chairman of the Ohio-based Miami University College Republicans, has a little advice for Republicans who seek the support of young voters as they run for office.

“For young voters, the Republican Party’s greatest appeal is economic policy,” he said.

Most college students and young professionals are well aware of the need for fiscal reform, he told The College Fix – it’s something everyone can get behind.

Myers is not alone. Campus republican leaders at several colleges across the nation told The College Fix that in order to improve the party’s image with young voters, it needs to hone in on something everyone can agree on: fixing the economy.

Forget putting social issues at the top of the platform, Myers said. What matters most are balanced budgets, lower taxes, and reduced Main Street regulation, he said.

“There are plenty of American youth voters who believe in the GOP and who are proud to be a member of the party that ended slavery and promotes individualism and equal opportunity,” he said.

He’s not the only college Republican who feels that way.

“(We’re) very interested and concerned about the current state of the economy and the federal deficit,” said Thomas Bates, chairman of the Idaho State University College Republicans.

Nicholas Chapa, vice chairman of the Shippensburg University College Republicans, echoed those sentiments, saying the Republican Party needs to focus on fiscal policy.

In the past two presidential elections, the youth vote overwhelmingly supported the Democratic presidential candidate, with President Obama securing 60 percent of the youth vote in 2008 and 66 percent in 2012.  Emerging as the Democratic Party’s most loyal age group, under-30 voters are affiliating themselves with the Left and are, importantly, increasingly entering the American electorate.

Only 29 percent of under-30 voters affiliate themselves with the Republican Party, while 45 percent affiliate themselves with the Democratic Party. In 2000, youth voters were almost evenly split between the two parties, with 35 percent identifying as Republican and 36 percent identifying as Democrat. Thus, in just twelve years Republican identification has dropped by six points.

Since the conclusion of the 2012 presidential race, many articles have been disseminated discussing the implications of the left-leaning American youth vote. As journalists, strategists, pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle attempt to understand the political mentality of this millennial cohort, most conversation revolves around the “typical” embodiment of the young voter.

For instance, The New York Times recently ran an article interviewing college students matriculating at the University of Montana. Headlined “Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government,” this article expanded upon a surprising sentiment that recent research has introduced: a majority (69 percent) of young voters believe in an expanded role of government.

But Chapa, Myers and Bates represent the rest of the America’s youth who still believe in small government and rugged individualism, and they said the under-30 Republican crowd is just as discouraged as its over-30 counterparts regarding an ever-growing governmental role.

Myers, like many of his peers, said he’s frustrated that a significant portion of his paycheck is taken out for taxes.

For Republicans, Bates said, the problem with prioritizing social issues during campaigns is that Republicans land all over the map on those issues, and the rhetoric on such topics can rub young college conservatives and libertarians the wrong way.

The solution, he said, lies not with the Republican Party changing its positions, but rather “its tone.”

When it comes to young female college conservative voters, the Republican campus leaders said their peers were “horrified by the derogatory and backward comments” of extremely Right-leaning politicians. They stressed Republicans are “losing points” with center-right youth voters as they “become turned off” from such harsh rhetoric.

“Put less emphasis on divisive issues such as gay marriage and women’s reproductive rights,” Myers said, adding if Republican rhetoric can become more “inclusive” and “articulate” it might demonstrate its capacity to be representative of a country wherein each individual confronts a daily economic reality – a dismal economy.

It is here where Myers believes there is “a more strategic fight to be had.”

Fix contributor Elizabeth Husmann graduated from Shippensburg University in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology; Miami University in 2009 with a M.A. in political science; and is currently finishing her doctorate degree in political science at Idaho State University.

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Former Fix assistant editor Robby Soave reports for the Daily Caller:

A tenured professor who forced her students to sign pledges that they would vote for President Barack Obama last November should be fired, the college’s president recommended.

Sharon Sweet, an associate professor of mathematics at Brevard Community College in Florida, is guilty of electioneering, harassment, and incompetence, according to a three-month investigation into her classroom behavior leading up to the November election.

Read more.

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Polls show that young people, African-Americans and Hispanics voted for Obama by wide margins. Ironically, those groups are suffering more under the Obama economy than other Americans.

  • The overall unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds for November 2012 is 10.9 percent (NSA).
  • The unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans for November 2012 is 18.5 percent (NSA); the unemployment rate for 18-29 year old Hispanics for November 2012 is 12.5 percent (NSA); and the unemployment rate for 18–29 year old women for November 2012 is 10.5 percent (NSA).
  • The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.7 million young adults that are not counted as “unemployed” by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
  • If the labor force participation rate were factored into the 18-29 unemployment calculations, the actual Millennial unemployment rate would rise to 16.4 percent (NSA).

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BIAS ALERT: Campus Reform reports that 96% of all donations for the recent presidential campaign when to Barack Obama. At Brown and Princeton, the slant was even greater, with 99% of all donations going to Obama.

When it comes to political beliefs, it looks like our nation’s leading universities don’t value diversity after all.

Full story here.

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With Barack Obama’s re-election triumph in hand, there is reason to think that the investigation into the terrorist attacks that occurred in Libya could move forward now. The president, after all, has less at risk now if there were any political fallout.

However, the Congressional inquiry looking into exactly what happened on Sept 11th when Islamic extremists killed four Americans at a consulate in Benghazi, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, has been stymied.

The David Petraeus sex scandal has enveloped Washington DC, seemingly drowning out the coverage of the Libyan attack, when it ought to be fueling it.

President Obama dismissed the questions being asked by GOP senators and representatives. In a press conference on Wednesday, he remained obstinate in his apparent willingness to nominate Ambassador Susan Rice as Secretary of State, even though she appeared on numerous talk shows stating falsely that the attack in Benghazi was not terrorism but rather, was a political protest gone awry.

Obama challenged Sen. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have called for thorough investigations into what transpired, and into what the White House knew and why Ms. Rice’s comments were inaccurate.

Obama said, “She made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me… But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence… to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”

The president’s statement only leads to another question: Why was Rice sent out by the White House to represent information on the topic in the first place considering she had no hand in the inner-decision making?

Sen. Graham hit back hard after the press conference, retorting, “Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi. I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack.”

Mr. Obama dodged a question about whether he personally gave orders to help the Americans at the consulate in real time.

So far the shifting and bumbling response by the administration regarding the motives behind the extremists who carried out the assault has not been accounted for. Mr. Petraeus, who was scheduled to testify this Thursday on the Benghazi situation has had his testimony delayed.

The Obama administration has continually refused to answer whether they knew that the consulate was attacked many times prior to Sept 11th citing that the investigation is ongoing.

Yet, in reality, the investigation isn’t “ongoing.” It’s going nowhere.

In his remarks to the press the president said there was “no debate” from him that the matter needed to be investigated. Yet it’s been two months since Ambassador Stevens was murdered and a clear picture of before, during, and after the attacks has still not emerged.

At his press conference, the president still wouldn’t answer direct questions about what he knew about attacks on the consulate prior to Sept 11th. Nor has he provided critical details about how he responded during and immediately after the fatal Benghazi attack.

Furthermore, the White House claims that neither the president nor anyone in his cabinet knew that the Director of the CIA was under investigation by the FBI since late summer–not until the day after the election.

Fix Contributor Michael Sorge is a student at Purchase College, State University of New York.

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Mind games or smart politics? The New York Times reports that a team of behavioral scientists provided the Obama campaign with a series of psychological tactics designed to motivate voters:

The group — which calls itself the “consortium of behavioral scientists,” or COBS — provided ideas on how to counter false rumors, like one that President Obama is a Muslim. It suggested how to characterize the Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, in advertisements. It also delivered research-based advice on how to mobilize voters.

“In the way it used research, this was a campaign like no other,” said Todd Rogers, a psychologist at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a former director of the Analyst Institute. “It’s a big change for a culture that historically has relied on consultants, experts and gurulike intuition.”

When asked about the outside psychologists, the Obama campaign would neither confirm nor deny a relationship with them…

At least some of the consortium’s proposals seemed to have found their way into daily operations. Campaign volunteers who knocked on doors last week in swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Nevada did not merely remind people to vote and arrange for rides to the polls. Rather, they worked from a script, using subtle motivational techniques that research has shown can prompt people to take action.

“We used the scripts more as a guide,” said Sarah Weinstein, 18, a Columbia freshman who traveled with a group to Cleveland the weekend before the election. “The actual language we used was invested in the individual person.”

Read the full story here.

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