If You Donate, You’ll Vote

Since Bill Clinton ran in 1992 and MTV decided to “Rock the Vote” the youth vote has been something often talked about, but something that never materialized.  It may be a huge force this year, not necessarily because politicians have been reaching out to youth more, but because there has been an easy way for young people to buy into a campaign.

Young people get enthusiastic about issues, but getting them to the polls has always been a problem.  We can’t underestimate the significance of a donation on a person’s likelihood to vote. If you gave $25, you want to make sure it was money well spent.

Joe Trippi, the manager of Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign said of Obama’s online voter outreach efforts in today’s New York Times:

“They were Apollo 11, and we were the Wright Brothers.”

Obama has made it easy for people to donate any amount to his campaign.  Sure, he still had multi-thousand dollar a plate fund raisers, but he also had thousands upon thosands of $5, $10, or $25 donations.

Effective use of the web gave younger, poorer voters a financial stake in his campaign.  This alone will have a significant effect on youth turn out today.