Midterm Election

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Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 02/15/2011 08:25 PM

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Where Were the Youth: 2010 Midterm Elections

In 2008, the United State Presidential election had one of the highest voter turnout for the youth (18-29) and African American populations in history of any presidential election. Students from all backgrounds made the decision to cast their vote, heralding the election of a newcomer and, for the majority of the race, the underdog: Barack Hussein Obama. People jumped on the excitement of Obama with his use of social media and personable demeanor. For many, this election was thought to have a long term revitalization of the youth and African Americans being involved in politics. The recent midterm elections show something very much the opposite.

The youth vote was down by nearly 10% and the black vote went down by 3% on November 2nd.There are a number of reasons that have been quoted for why the youth did not show up, from disgust of our polarized partisanship, lack of knowledge on the issues, to downright apathy. One USC student stated that it was a challenge to vote for politicians when no one seems to speak on the “issues that personally affect him.” At least for this student, that is where Obama was able to earn the vote, because he spoke to the individual issues and needs for change from his constituents.

Even so, there were a number of issues that directly affected both populations this year. Healthcare reform provides extension of the time students can stay on their parent’s health insurance and provide expansion of health care opportunities for more Blacks. This year the Republican Party reclaimed the House, riding on the wave of the American public’s dissatisfaction with the slow change of the Obama Administration.

With their ascendance in power, the Republican Party has promised to repeal the healthcare reform and many other Democrat proposals in their Pledge to America, which can be found on the pledge.gop.gov website. The repeal of the healthcare reform would drastically affect the African...