Let’s recap the percentage of votes received by the top three finishers in the 2012 New Hampshire Republican primary election: Mitt Romney received 39.4% of the votes cast, Ron Paul 22.8% and Jon Huntsman 16.8%. I have heard that Ron Paul has a lot of support from young voters, but what does that look like? Let’s use New Hampshire as an example.
According to a report issued by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE), approximately 15% of eligible New Hampshire voters under the age of thirty participated in the primary this year. That’s approximately 29,000 voters. To put that in some sort of context, approximately 26,000 young people voted for Barack Obama in the state’s 2008 primary.
Ron Paul definitely did well by the New Hampshire youth vote. Young voters cast their votes for Ron Paul by a margin of 22 percentage points. This is more than double the number of youth votes that the candidate received in the 2008 New Hampshire primary. Interestingly, CIRCLE Director Peter Levine said “Dr. Paul’s 47% support from 18- to 29-year olds was the strongest level of support for any candidate by any age group.”
I like statistics, but what did this really look like? HeadCount, a nonprofit organization whose thousands of volunteers register fans to vote at concerts year-round, sent a small team of volunteers to New Hampshire to look into this for us. In this video you can watch a few insightful conversations that they had with Ron Paul supporters.
For more about the primaries through the eyes of the HeadCount volunteers check out Melissa Brennan, Chris Mocharla, Abby Brazina and Liz O’Donnell’s Facebook photo album HeadCount Goes to New Hampshire. The above photo of Ron Paul New Hampshire supporters was taken by Abby Brazina.
And oh — speaking of music: did you hear that American Idol winner and fellow Texan Kelly Clarkson endorsed Ron Paul on December 28, via Twitter? In his speech at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa on January 3, Ron Paul asked the students “I’m wondering, does anyone here know the name Kelly Clarkson?” He continued “I have to admit, I didn’t know a whole lot about her, but I do know that our supporters were so enthusiastic about that, that they went out and bumped up the sales of her records by 600 percent.”
While that’s a fun statistic, and 57% of all respondents in HeadCount’s recent Fan DNA Project poll indicated that they are usually inspired to take action when a musician speaks about a social issue from stage, this Kelly Clarkson statistic is not true. According to Nielsen SoundScan data Kelly’s new album Stronger actually sold 40% fewer copies during the week that she endorsed Ron Paul, as compared with the number of sales in the previous week.
I’ll be interested to see how Ron Paul does with the youth vote as our attention shifts to South Carolina!
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