Washington Secrets

Zogby: Disillusioned young voters dropping out

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

 

Nearly four years after enthusiastic younger voters poured into polling booths to help push Barack Obama over the finish line and into the Oval Office, their hope has turned to fear and pollster John Zogby says that they are ready to give up on politics.

“I truly am worried about today's twenty-somethings,” he frets. “They are our global generation and I have seen them move from hope and grand expectations for themselves and their world to anxiety and disillusionment. We can't afford to lose them,” he adds.

Zogby previewed his remarks to the League of Women Voters 50th anniversary convention Monday night with Secrets. His worry: that younger voters will stop voting.

He is calling on the League of Women Voters to help stop that trend by engaging younger voters, especially women. “You are needed more than ever,” he says of the group. “I see from your mission that you 'encourage' and I think we all need to move into crisis mode and use the word 'engage'. Especially young women.”

A fan of youth-friendly social media, Zogby suggests a game plan to target first-time voters. “They should receive a voter registration form with their high school diploma or GED certificate. You need to build up your Twitter and Facebook friendship list.”

While an old institution, Zogby says that the League can still inspire. “I know the demographics of LWV -- no different from those of so many organizations. And I know that your core of activists in communities is dwindling or remaining static. There are new ways to engage people -- and new topics. Young people care about new democracies and women entrepreneurs. Your website and information has to be a source of this vital and inspiring information,” he says.

Despite growing apathy, he adds that younger Americans “want to be involved in their world, they want to help others progress while they post the kind of experience that will help them move to their next project in the gig economy. LWV doesn't need a new vision or a new MO, it needs to adjust the way it engages young people on their own turf."
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