That whole “trying to win back women” thing has become too arduous for the Republican party. Instead, they’ve decided to see if they can woo over a different demographic — the youth vote.
It’s a tough sell. After all, younger voters are far more likely to lean liberal according to most reports, and the party’s zeal for voter ID laws and other ballot access rules that disproportionately affect college age students and recent grads doesn’t make them seem very youth-friendly.
But it’s a group that has been hit hard by both extremely high unemployment rates, stagnant entry level wages, huge increases in college tuition costs and now a potential to see their student loan rates double. And the GOP thinks it may be able to get them to blame all of these issues on President Barack Obama.
According to the Associated Press, Karl Rove super PAC American Crossroads will be starting Crossroads Generation, a new political action committee focused on stealing the youth vote from the Democratic party.
“Starting Monday, the PAC is launching a $50,000 social media ad campaign targeting younger voters in eight swing states, including Ohio and Virginia. Their ultimate goal: woo younger Americans to the Republican side, including some who supported Obama in 2008,” reports the AP. “The super PAC is also planning a ground game for this fall, leveraging the roughly 250,000 student-members of the College Republicans who span more than 1,800 campuses across the country.”
The idea that the party of the 1 percent could win over the nation’s youth might seem like a long shot. After all, the GOP are the ones who are holding their student loan rate hostage in order to dismantle the health care reform that is allowing many of them to stay on their parents’ insurance while they try to find jobs. But KEvin Bondelli, writing at the progressive site Future Majority, is less dismissive. “While I know that the initial reaction from many from the left is to laugh this effort off, but that would be a mistake. The Right has already been trouncing the Left for years when it comes to grooming their young talent, and if conservatives are serious about investing resources in youth outreach they could certainly do some damage. Democrats, liberals, and progressives need to realize that despite a pretty major head start, the Millennial generation can not be taken for granted.”
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