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    November 21, 2008


    Chris VanHaight

    I do not believe most younger voters have any party loyalty or affiliation, but rather vote on a case-by-case, issue-by-issue basis. However, the argument that a candidate for president from a particular party may be helped in achieving their goals by a member of his party also being elected to the House or Senate may still have some influence for those lower down on the ticket. I forget who used the argument against whom in Massachusetts, but in some Senate race, back when he was still alive, the idea of a Republican senator from Massachusetts voting to keep Jesse Helms as chair of some key committee had some sort of impact. All that being said, if the only problem Republicans had was "communicating" their message, that should be an easy fix. The big problem this time around was that their message was that they represented fiscal responsibility and corporate non-interference, yet they spent the public's money like drunken sailors and watched as the economy tanked. They need to fix their lack of credibility before worrying about how to "unite behind a conservative message."

    Robert David Sullivan

    First-time voters don't have a history of supporting either party, but I do think that the great majority of them will stay with one party over the next several elections. Yes, more people are registering as independents, but if you drill down to the county and precinct levels of voting returns, you see very little "swinging." At least in recent elections, most big shifts in the partisan leanings of specific counties come from injections of new voters rather than party switches among longtime voters.

    A long-winded way of saying that I think the youth vote is a big problem for the GOP, and I doubt that a single issue or candidate can erase what happened this year.

    Rick Whitted

    I think there is most defintely a loyalty built among young voters based on their party choice in their first election. I have seem demograhic data of party affilation based on age groups and it is pretty apparent looking at swings in the party affiliation based on who was president when these age groups came of voting age. I first voted for Reagan and voted straight ticket Republican for my first three elections without ever putting any thought into the policies the party supported. My parents were Republican. What more did I need to know?

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