DENVER--Gotta give credit to those Democrats for pulling out all stops (and stars) to woo the youth vote to the polls in November. Sen. Barack Obama is beating Sen. John McCain by almost 20 percentage points in most polls among voters 18-34. But McCain is a point or two ahead among voters over 40 and that's a much larger cohort of voters. I spoke with Rene Redwood of the "Respect my Vote" campaign put on by the Hip Hop Caucus. Rapper TI is reaching out to his two million "friends" on his MySpace page with text messages and eventually e-mails to remind young Americans to register to vote and ultimately to get out to the polls on Election Day. And that's just the start. The caucus has a veritable laundry list of rappers and stars lined up to persuade the normally unreliable younger demographic to get out and vote. According to Census data from the 2004 presidential election just under half of eligible Americans under 34 voted in that race, versus 72 percent of eligible voters over age 40. That's the kind of spread that, in this close election year, could make or break either candidate.
By Bonnie Erbe