New Hampshire
January 10, 2012

Youth Votes in New Hampshire

Which way will the undecided go?

Jessica: Four years ago, young voters turned out in record numbers for the New Hampshire primary and it looks like they are going to do it again.

Sarah Wood: I love personal liberties, I love freedom, I love an un-opposing, un-oppressing government.

Jessica: That is why 24-year-old Sarah Wood is supporting Ron Paul. In fact, Paul is the candidate who appeals the most to New Hampshire voters between the ages of 18 and 34.

Senator Ron Paul: Personal liberty and economic liberty are one in the same.”

Jessica: Paul also argues for getting rid of low interest federal loans for college students. He says those types of loans are actually driving up the cost of college.

It is a big issue here in New Hampshire. College students here graduate with an average debt of more than $31,000. That is the highest in the country.

“It’s time to try something new and if it’s radical, maybe that’s what we need right now.”

Jessica: Zachary Koehler, a sophomore at Keene State College, likes Paul’s ideas to make the federal government smaller, slash defense spending and bring the troops home.

Zachary Koehler: I love his foreign policy because I have this saying: ‘if you stick your nose in other people’s business enough, you’re going to get punched eventually.’

Jessica: It is voters like that who could ultimately be the deciding factor in the presidential election nationwide, 18 to 29-year-olds make up the largest voting bloc in the country. There are more than 45 million eligible to vote this year! But the question is, will they turn out to vote in November?

In the 2008 presidential election, about 22 million young Americans voted. It was the third highest turnout rate among young people since 1972, the year when 18-year-olds were first allowed to vote for president.

But most say it was then candidate Barack Obama, who brought young people to the polls, like 21- year-old Philip Caron.

Philip Caron: I did vote for Obama. He made it so I still have health insurance through my parents. I am 21 now and my job doesn’t offer it. I can still have it until I am 27.

Jessica: But this time around, it could be the Republican candidate that pulls in youth voters who say they didn’t see the promised change during President Obama’s term.

Republican candidate Jon Huntsman has spent a lot of time in New Hampshire, and he has won over college junior Marko Samardzic.

Marko Samardzic: Jon Huntsman has a bigger plan to rein in the big banks and to get the banks actually lending again.

Jessica: Samardzic considered former Governor Mitt Romney, but finds him inconsistent.

Samardzic: He is a flip-flopper. He says one thing one week, and another week he changes. He changes his position.

Jessica: Mitt Romney may not be winning the youth vote in New Hampshire, but he is the one leading in the polls there amongst all voters. Yet anything can happen, and voters in New Hampshire have all day to cast their vote and decide who they want to be the Republican nominee.


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