Local College Students Ready to Rock the Vote

New poll predicts unprecedented young voter turnout

A new poll just released suggests that voter turnout of college students could top 90 percent on Election Day in some key battleground states.  The poll results were the focus of a forum at George Washington University on Monday, where local students said they see political activism all around them.

The poll was conducted during the first few weeks of October.  About 25,000 students in North Carolina, Ohio, Colorado and Pennsylvania took part.  In each state, more than 60 percent of students polled said they support Barack Obama over John McCain.  Also, more than 90% said they plan to vote on Nov. 4. You can read more about the UWIRE/CBS/Chronicle for Higher Education poll here.

The forum at GWU attracted about a hundred students.  "I know all my friends are voting," said GW freshman Noreen Kassam.  "In fact, I'm from New Mexico and I have my absentee ballot."  Kassam supports John McCain for President.  He said regardless of who they want elected, fellow students all around him are excited about this election. 

"I think it's the candidates," Kassam said. "It's where we are in the world and knowing the issues really do impact us."

With Facebook, e-mails and viral video sharing using Web sites like YouTube,  there's now a political social network in cyberspace that has energized young voters like never before, said GWU professor Steven Roberts, a panelist at the forum. 

"They see themselves as active participants," Roberts said. "They're not just passive recipients of informations. That's what's key to the high numbers."

"I've been doing a lot of online research," said GWU senior Melissa Kiefer. "But honestly, I haven't looked at my TV in weeks."

The poll also found that students overwhelmingly said the economy is the country's most pressing issue.

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