Chad’s Morning Brief: Young Voters Dropping Out, U.S. Senate Race in Texas, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of June 12, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.
1. Disillusioned Young Voters (link)
Young voters in their 20’s just don’t care about politics anymore. That according to pollster John Zogby. In 2008, young voters were all about hope but now they just fear.
“I truly am worried about today’s twenty-somethings,” he frets. “They are our global generation and I have seen them move from hope and grand expectations for themselves and their world to anxiety and disillusionment. We can’t afford to lose them,” he adds.
Zogby previewed his remarks to the League of Women Voters 50th anniversary convention Monday night with Secrets. His worry: that younger voters will stop voting.
He is calling on the League of Women Voters to help stop that trend by engaging younger voters, especially women. “You are needed more than ever,” he says of the group. “I see from your mission that you ‘encourage’ and I think we all need to move into crisis mode and use the word ‘engage’. Especially young women.”
A fan of youth-friendly social media, Zogby suggests a game plan to target first-time voters. “They should receive a voter registration form with their high school diploma or GED certificate. You need to build up your Twitter and Facebook friendship list.”
Personally, I don’t want young uninformed voters. That goes for older uninformed voters as well. I’ve never really been politically correct on this issue, but I don’t want high voter turnout if that means people are showing up to the polls and they know nothing about the candidates.
Are young voters as involved in politics as they will be in 10 years? No, and it’s for many reasons. Many have no clue what is really happening in the world, and many think that their vote means nothing. I think what we are lacking in the U.S. are informed voters. That’s who we need more of.
2. The Dynamics Have Changed (link)
More and more people are paying attention to the U.S. Senate race here in Texas now that it’s in a runoff. Dynamics of a race change in a runoff and we are seeing that in the race between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst.
History is on Dewhurst’s side. Statewide candidates who collect votes like he did — 44.6 percent in the first round — almost always win their runoffs in Texas elections.
But Dewhurst ran like an incumbent. He skipped most of the candidate forums around the state this year, opting instead to speak on his own and in his advertising. To someone devoting less than full attention, he appeared to be an officeholder seeking another term.
That storyline about the insurgents isn’t a great storyline for him. The Dewhurst camp will point to the nine candidates on the ballot, to the fact that three of them — Dewhurst, Cruz, and former Mayor Tom Leppert of Dallas — advertised heavily, and to the relative prominence of a fourth candidate, Craig James, who played professional football and worked as an ESPN analyst.
It’s worth noting that Cruz, Leppert and James snagged a combined 51 percent of the primary vote. This is even more interesting: In early voting, Dewhurst got 48 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 30 percent. On election day, Dewhurst’s advantage was skinny: He got 41.5 percent while Cruz got 38.1 percent. One more: The non-Dewhursts — Cruz, James and Leppert — got a combined 47.6 percent during the two weeks of early voting; on May 29, they got 54.4 percent. Put another way, Dewhurst tied his three chief rivals in early voting, but they clobbered him on Election Day.
Maybe the connecting dots that matter here don’t go through Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin. It’s worth looking at the timeline instead of the map. After delayed primary dates and months of campaigning and advertising, Texans finally got to vote. From the middle of May, when voting began, to May 29, Dewhurst’s numbers got worse. Cruz’s got markedly better.
History is on the side of Dewhurst. Momentum is with Ted Cruz. Who will win at the end of the day?
3. U.S. Travel to Mexico is Up (link)
Despite drug violence in Mexico, more and more Americans are traveling south for vacation. According to KUHF:
The jump in U.S. visitors to Mexico reflects in part a rise in American consumer confidence. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that during the first three months of the year, the number of U.S. travelers to all foreign destinations also rose 11% percent from a year earlier.
Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete is chief operating officer of the Mexico Tourism Board. He says the country has been strengthening its marketing efforts in the U.S., in part to counter U.S. news coverage that focuses on Mexican drug violence.
“What is very important is to communicate to the American public that, you know, Mexico is a very large country. There’s an incident in the northern region of Mexico, in the border with the United States, that is totally unconnected to what is happening in Cancún or Riviera Maya or Ixtapa or whatever.”
I would have no problem traveling to Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Would I want to leave the resort areas? No way.
4. The Word ‘Cool’ Is Now Racist (link)
I just love stories that come from the Congressional Black Caucus. Did you know that calling Obama ‘cool’ is now considered racist?
She said that “a lot” of conservative opposition is racially-charged, citing the use of the word “cool” in an attack ad launched by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS superPAC.
“There’s an ad, talking about [how] the president is too cool, [asking] is he too cool? And there’s this music that reminds me of, you know, some of the blaxploitation films from the 70s playing in the background, him with his sunglasses,” Rye said. “And to me it was just very racially-charged. They weren’t asking if Bush was too cool, but, yet, people say that that’s the number one person they’d love to have a beer with. So, if that’s not cool I dont know what is.
She added that “even ‘cool,’ the term ‘cool,’ could in some ways be deemed racial [in this instance].”
Rye said “I don’t know” when asked if black enthusiasm for Obama might be lower than in 2008, but added that the Democrats have to explain how voter ID laws are racist to help motivate black voters.
Angela Rye, another moron.
5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)
This is just sad.
Graduating students at a Nevada high school were recently given diplomas that contained a glaring spelling error.
The word “graduation” was misspelled as “graduataion,” the Elko Daily Free Press reported.
Spring Creek High School Principal Keith Walz told the paper the misspelled diplomas were an “inadvertent mistake” and the school’s supplier, Jostens, said the fault was their own.
The Salt Lake City-based firm had recently changed their equipment and missed the error, Jostens rep Bryan Durfey told the Elko Daily Free Press.
Jostens has sent out corrected diplomas to the 203 affected Spring Creek High students by priority mail at no cost to the school.
It’s not the first time a school’s diplomas have failed to make the grade this graduation cycle.
Last week about 8,000 students at Parkdale High School in Maryland received diplomas with the word “program” spelled “progam.”
Stories like this are fantastic.
Jackson Zortman wanted to sting the Omaha Storm Chasers catcher’s hand with his fastball.
The 8-year-old had been practicing for a couple of weeks in his backyard with his older brother, Montgomery, while his usual partner, his dad, was away for military training.
As he reached the mound at Werner Park on Sunday to throw the first pitch before Omaha’s game against Round Rock, Jackson was nervous. His 10-year-old sister, Isabella, who had done it before, “told him to stay focused and throw straight.”
The blond third-grader released his pitch. It went straight, took a short hop before home plate and bounced toward the catcher.
Jackson relaxed, and the catcher removed his protective mask.
Jackson paused. Then he and his siblings ran to home plate.
The man donning a glove and Storm Chasers jersey No. 43 was Jackson’s dad, Staff Sgt. Rik Zortman with the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing out of Des Moines. He was home a few days early after 10 weeks of training in Biloxi, Miss.
Before the game, Zortman had said, “I’m hoping not to cry when I’m about to catch the ball.”
By the time his kids wrapped around him, there were tears on the field and in the stands.
“Seeing a dad down there with his kids, it’s just emotional,” said Teresa Baker of the Millard area, a former service member. Baker, who hadn’t met Zortman before Sunday, has a nephew serving in the Army in Afghanistan.
“There should always be a crowd there saying, ‘Hey, I’m glad you’re home,’ ” she said.
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