I would think this development would seriously impact poll numbers, as a rise in the youth vote would change their overall voter modeling and skew their results.
• Almost 32% of 18-24 year olds report tat they will "definitely be voting" on November 7th. Previous turnout records for midterm elections stands at 26.6% in 1982.
• 68% of young voters disaprove of the job that the President is doing.
• 52% would prefer that Democrats control congress vs. 29% who prefer Republicans. 19% see no difference.
• 60% believe the country is on the wrong track.
• 46% favor withdrawal from Iraq within the next year.
Faith in the System
• 75% believe that elected officials don't share their priorities.
Perhaps putting to rest the old saw that young people are apathetic because they don't see politics as relevant to their lives:
• 70% of 18-24 year olds believe that politics is relevant to their lives
The full press release can be found here.
I remarked when I saw Barack Obama speak last week that I was inclined to reconsider his Presidential bid, although I feel like he's a leader who hasn't yet shown the capacity to lead, because I saw first-hand his impact on college students. Maybe it's not so much Obama as the fact that kids who have grown up under the shadow of terrorism understand the importance of who's in power. They understand that elections have consequences. They understand that we're all connected and we all have a responsibility to one another (they see that in their everyday lives through MySpace and Facebook and YouTube). And they understand that they have the power to make a major difference which would almost certainly cause a seismic change in Washington.
Or, maybe it's not even that complicated. Maybe they just don't want to be shipped off to war:
The prospect of putting on a uniform and shipping out to a foreign land fosters a certain kind of clarity.
By the way, the Vote Vets ads have been some of the most amazing this cycle. They are visceral, powerful and lucid.