Some thoughts from the election:
--- What happened to the youth vote? With groups such as MoveOn and America Coming Together registering numerous young people the the express intent of unseating George W. Bush this year, one would have thought that the final result would have been different. But apparantly, many of the new young registrants didn't bother showing up at the polls. I had expressed concerns about this issue a couple of weeks ago, noting in part:
While these organizations have worked so hard to register new voters, I'm worried that it's going to be difficult at best actually getting them into the voting booth. Many people, especially youth, may do something as harmless as filling out a registration form when approached by someone. But will that translate into that person actually remembering to find his/her precinct or to the early voting site and filling in the oval/pushing the touch screen buttons?
In this case, I guess not. Young people are more mobile, and with many using cellular phones as their primary communication method, they are harder to contact readily. Also, many young adults are not as concerned with things political, and while they may readily register when approached, they may choose to forget when election day comes around. Groups such as ACT and MoveOn, as well as the political parties and other groups concerned with the dwindling youth vote, should work on educating the importance of participating in the process. Hopefully, they will do so in the meantime.
--- One thing that certainly helped the Bush/Cheney campaign here is that their team made the effort to schedule visits by the candidates to smaller cities across Florida, including Lakeland, Fort Myers, The Villages, and Gainesville...places not often visited by national candidates. In contrast, Kerry/Edwards only concentrated on scheduling stops in the metro cities, sending only surrogates such as Elizabeth Edwards and former swift boat mate Del Sandusky to the outer areas.
While it's impossible for national candidates to visit every nook and cranny across America, it is important that the campaign not surrender any part of an area considered important to it's victory. That often means sending the candidates into areas that are not huge media markets to show that he/she can relate with and is concerned about smaller and more rural areas of the nation.
--- And the Democratic Party will have to do some serious soul searching during this break in the electoral cycle and think about it's future and refocus it's message. I'll get into that more in detail soon.