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Youth Vote: Powering the Ron Paul Revolution

How a grandfather figure has ignited a generation of young voters.

Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire Primary, but Ron Paul won the youth vote by a landslide.

In fact, it is the  "Y factor"  that propelled Ron Paul into a solid second-place finish in the Primary – without which he could not have beat Huntsman.

That observation and more are found in a report issued Wednesday by CIRCLE – the Tufts University research-based Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement that determined 29,000 voters under the age of 30 voted in the Jan. 10 primary, a majority of those votes going to Paul [see inset chart.]

"Although young voters did not turn out at a particularly high rate this year, they did have an impact by concentrating their votes for Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), helping him come in second behind former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA),” said CIRCLE Director Peter Levine. “Dr. Paul’s 47 percent support from 18- to 29-year-olds was the strongest level of support for any candidate by any age group."

One day after the election Paul was fielding criticism over "rowdy behavior" exhibiting in the weeks leading up to the primary by some of his young volunteers, as reported by Politico.

“I tell people they ought to be polite, and if they even bend over — lean over and get into this area where they’re breaking laws and practicing civil disobedience, they do it at their own risk,” said Paul. “You know, civil disobedience is a proper tool as it was in the civil rights movement, but you’ve got to be very careful,” Paul was quoted as saying in the article.

As far as the numbers go, CIRCLE reports that Tuesday's primary figures are most accurately compared with those from the 2004 New Hampshire primary, because, unlike the 2000 and 2008 primaries, only one party had a competitive race that year.

That said, turnout for yesterday’s GOP primary was about 29,000, which compares to the 26,000 voters under 30 who came out to support Barack Obama in the 2008 New Hampshire Primary.

Elizabeth Ricketts, 20, and Cody Segraves, 19, both of West Virginia, are representative of Paul's youthful supporters. They are completely charged up over Paul's campaign, traveling to New Hampshire just to help promote Ron Paul among undecided voters here.

"We've been trying to encourage people to vote for Ron Paul by door knocking and visiting the polls," said Ricketts.

"I've been following Ron Paul since 2007, and he's really the only one who's honest – and he doesn't want to bankrupt my future," Segraves said.

Lindsey Deknikker, 27, of Haverhill, Mass., said this is her first time voting in any election.

"To be honest, I never voted before. It's the first time I've been engaged and intrigued by a politician," said Deknikker, who said she has several reasons for supporting Paul, including one she wears on her sleeve.

She shows off her bracelet that reads "Support Our Troops."

"My sister's boyfriend was sent over to Afghanistan last year, and I feel Ron Paul is the only candidate who will bring the troops home," Deknikker said. "Obama said he would do that, and yet he sent more troops over. Ron Paul changed my mind about a lot of things."

ForThePeople January 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Pitching a fit won't help you. I have asked you to narrow down a topic, and I guess you choose foreign-policy, but you are unable to get specific. If you reread your posts, you are having a fantasy in your mind about what *I* think, and then declaring it to be fact. Reread what you wrote. It's an emotional meltdown that starts off with sarcasm, reaches a crescendo as your fantasy gets out of hand until you are reaching for the caps lock button. How are we to have a rational discussion if you create this imaginary battlefield where everyone who doesn't like Ron Paul is somehow the enemy? How is that intelligent? Here's an idea, ask me one question, and I can answer you- in detail, even. But this shrill temper tantrum isn't how you do it. I also wanted to call attention to some of your own thought patterns. I think it's important to read what you wrote- all of it- and notice a few things. You tend to have this emotional roller coaster as you're writing. Most of your ideas aren't even your own- they're copied and pasted from others. You haven't taken any of the ideas you have presented from start to finish. Instead, you announce some opinion as fact, some accusation as fact, and then you parrot something I said to make it your own. Even silly things, like cookies. I'm drawing your attention to this because I think that you need to look at your emotions and see if they are preventing you from not only communicating with other people but tinting the glasses of your politics.
ForThePeople January 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Ron Paul isn't a holy figure. Some of his ideas are quite rotten. The mark of obsession is someone who tries really hard to make everything their leader says into Scripture. Fascists and nationalists do the same thing. You need to be really careful with this kind of emotion that you have and how you latch on to the people you admire. It will prevent you from having your own ideas. It will prevent you from having differing opinions. It will prevent you from critical thinking, which is most important. Part of this is probably the fault of most education. Taking tests and regurgitating answers doesn't make you smart, and it won't liberate you. It will get you a piece of paper so you can get employed, and that's all it will do. The best parts of education and what you should be learning is how to think critically, do the research, and come up with your own words on a topic. You won't find that copying and pasting from other people's brains. It will make you a fine Paulbot, though. That's one of my complaints that I've stated more than once; his clones are really good at regurgitating but not so good at the genesis of ideas.
ForThePeople January 21, 2012 at 12:11 AM
The best education you can have is to read- a lot- from multiple sources, including sources you don't like. Come up with your own ideas. As an exercise, pick one thing about Ron Paul you don't like, just to prove to yourself that you are your own person and your politics are truly your own. Keep your admiration in moderation. Be aware of obsession. When communicating, try not to view it as yourself against the world. I'm sure we actually have a lot in common although you would never know it because you came in with guns blazing from your very first post. A lot of people think that the world is stupid, that only they have the answers, that only the truth lies with their opinions, but this is an illusion. Only by thinking selflessly will you be able to understand the truths of other people's lives besides your own. Finally, going to answer one of your questions, "what people are you for????" That's the thing, I don't specify. There's a reason for that. I'm for "the people", not for "the ____ people."
LibertyLover January 21, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Still didn't answer one of my questions.
LibertyLover January 25, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Specifically.... I asked these questions (you perfectly dodged them all by talking in circles about how I need to reevaluate my thought patterns and myself.) "I want to know, do you agree with us bombing Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen? Do you agree with us staying in Afghanistan? Do you agree with President Obama begging to stay in Iraq? Do you agree with a billion dollar embassy being built in Baghdad with our tax dollars instead of that money being used to educate our children here? Do you agree with the sanctions on Iran? Do you agree with our involvement in Uganda?" And please enlighten me as to what the ? stands for in "the ______ people".Answers please? You must have an assumption about the person I am including the color of my skin and the income in my bank account. Stop projecting what you think you know on to me. You have not presented 1 Fact in all of your diatribes aimed at discrediting me, you have given nothing but assumptions and your own opinions. See: "If I'm a lost soul looking for something to do, somewhere to go, something to believe in, the Ron Paul crowd (and also the Free State Project) provides... A libertarian cares not for anything beyond that line and expects others to do the same. It is distilled selfishness.... That's what all Paulbots do. Be better than that." I can take an example of your opinions from every piece you wrote, but not 1 fact. Lets converse the way you deem correct, I picked 1 topic foreign policy. Lets discuss w/ facts now.

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