Focus on Youth Benefits Obama

Campaign makes young people a priority, using net to organize
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 11:04 AM CST
Students from UCLA hold a banner in support of Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., before a Democratic debate in front of the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The youth vote is back, and that’s a very good thing for Barack Obama. Young people are voting in numbers not seen in decades, and they prefer Obama by an astounding margin. In Iowa, under-25 turnout was up 135%, and those voters favored Obama 4 to 1. And the 46-year-old didn’t luck into this groundswell, Time reports; he methodically built it.

One voting expert sees Obama's strategy—meeting with student leaders, aiming precious ad dollars at them, using Facebook to recruit volunteers—as 21st-century machine politics. “I had a friend tell me this was impossible, that it's hopeless to try to organize students," says one supporter. "Now he says, 'You were right, I was wrong. Where do I sign up?’”