September 14, 2008
Young evangelicals straddling the fence
The Palin Effect may not work on younger evangelicals, the Associated Press reports.
"Polls have yet to measure the Palin Effect on younger evangelical voters, whose shifting political allegiances put the demographic in play for both major-party presidential campaigns," Eric Gorski writes. "But a portrait emerges through interviews with more than a dozen pastors, authors and others who either belong to that generation or track it: Conservatives are energized much like their elders, progressives are unimpressed and many undecideds are gravitating toward McCain-Palin."
The McCain campaign tells Gorski that it is reaching out to young evangelicals, but a 26-year-old Southern Baptist pastor says he contacted the campaign to arrange a conference call with young evangelicals and got no response.
"The McCain campaign is really out to lunch when it comes to reaching young evangelicals," Jonathan Merritt told the AP, adding that Palin's questioning of man-made global warming concerns him.
Slate writes about whether the youth vote actually matters, since it was just 17 percent of voters in 2004. But both campaigns are using new groups and tools to help the youth register before deadlines approach.
"If Obama merely pokes all his Facebook friends on Election Day, for example - well, that's 1.2 million pokes right there," Christopher Beam writes.
Jerry Falwell Jr., chancellor of Liberty University in Virginia, announced a new initiative to get the school's 10,500 students registered to vote, the Washington Post reports. Falwell will cancel classes on Election Day, and he promises to make buses available to shuttle students to the polls.
Tim Craig writes that Virginia's 2006 U.S. Senate race and the 2005 state attorney general's race were decided by fewer than 10,000 votes.