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    News Round-Up: Thursday, January 24, 2014

    Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

    A strange new agency is being formed in Florida; a young Illinois girl murders her younger sister; a supernova provides a spectacle for astronomers both amateur and professional; and polls about the United States’ beliefs on income inequality are released. Meanwhile, the story everyone is talking about: Justin Bieber’s arrest; a new celebrity couple become engaged; and some of the biggest ‘90’s stars are returning to TV for the Super Bowl.

    - Veronica + Maura


    Good with people? Willing to capture crocodile, if needed? Apply now! http://rtvote.com/KNOPr5
    Advertisements for “crocodile response agents” have been circulating around Florida due to the increasing number of crocodiles being born. To be considered, a person must be “flexible, mature, a good listener, and non-confrontational,” although experience is optional. Crocodiles have been moving back into residential areas along the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean and in the Florida Keys. The program currently consists of nine agents who make $25 an hour.

    Girl, 14, stabs sister 40 times because she felt unappreciated: http://rtvote.com/1dyGJst
    An 11-year-old Illinois girl is dead after being stabbed nearly 40 times by her older sister. The sister initially called the police using an intruder as a cover story, but later confessed to the crime when questioned. The 14-year-old sister was angry at her sister for not appreciating all that she did for her. She has been arrested and charged with murder.

    Supernova! Exploding star lights up nearby Cigar Galaxy: http://rtvote.com/1iqKrMZ
    A supernova, also known as an exploding star, has just become visible in the night sky. It is located between the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and is so bright that it is easily visible for people to see through a telescope (or even a pair of binoculars) in the Northern Hemisphere. The phenomenon is approximately 12 million light-years away from Earth. Although exciting to behold, astronomers may be able to use the supernova to help study dark energy.

    Poll: United we stand on wealth gap: http://rtvote.com/1f9qlna
    A new poll shows that 65% of Americans surveyed believe that the gap between the wealthiest people and the rest has increased. People also believe that the system “unfairly favors the wealthy.” Interestingly enough, nearly the same percentage of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents also believe that inequality is growing, and a majority of those surveyed believes that the government must take action to curb inequality. 


    Justin Bieber arrested for DUI and drag racing: http://rtvote.com/1hOxIRb 

    A Full House reunion commercial during the Super Bowl: is an even bigger reunion in the works? http://rtvote.com/1mx973E

    Megan Park and Tyler Hilton are engaged! http://rtvote.com/1f9hxh5

    Ralph Lauren returns to design the 2014 United States Olympic uniforms. See the pictures here: http://rtvote.com/1f9i8i

    He’s back! Bill Cosby returns to NBC to star in a new family comedy: http://rtvote.com/1egECdY

    Veronica Barger
    Bio: Veronica is currently studying communications, law, economics, and government at American University in Washington, DC. Originally from New Jersey, she has held an interest in politics since the 2008 presidential election. Being a newly registered voter, she understands how important it is for young people to register to vote and have their voices heard. She looks to spread that message with Rock the Vote.

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    Cynicism but Participation

    Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

    It’s not 2008. There’s no presidential race to unite the country’s focus and galvanize sweeping momentum. If you asked a young person how he or she feels heading into the midterm elections, you’d probably still hear the traces of optimism that characterized that historic election. This time, however, the response would also have a trace of cynicism. You’d hear frustration – if sometimes unreasonable –about the pace of change over the last two years. But you’d also hear conviction that 2010 is a new opportunity to prove that young people remain deeply invested and committed to shaping the future they’ll inherit.

    Today, Rock the Vote released the results of a poll that details where this crucial bloc of voters ages 18 to 29 stands on many important factors, such as young voters attitudes towards Congress and national leaders like President Obama and Sarah Palin, and their interest in the upcoming election.  It also looks at their political affiliations and positions on critical issues that will be debated during the 2010 midterm election cycle, such as the war in Afghanistan, marriage rights, energy policy, sexual health education and immigration.

    You can find the entire poll here.

    What we found is that young voters are tired of politics as usual, and this sentiment gives them all the more reason to vote on Nov. 2nd. About 77% say they plan to vote, and when they do show up at the polls, they say they want to vote for candidates who stick to substance rather than preaching partisanship. Our data shows that young people care much more about jobs and college affordability than a candidate’s party affiliation. They are waiting for candidates to address their issues, and are becoming increasingly frustrated with those who don’t.

    In pursuit of the change they voted for in 2008, we saw that while Millennials remain confident in their ability to make an impact, they are struggling to work past doubts about the political process.  An overwhelming majority (83%) still says they believe their generation has the power to change our country, yet 59% say they feel more cynical about politics than they did two years ago.

    The shift in young people’s attitudes are reflected in their views on current leaders. President Obama (56%) and the Democratic Party (46%) still receive the highest marks, with the Republican Party (36%) trailing behind. Favorability ratings indicate that President Obama (56%) and the Democratic Party (46%) still receive the highest marks, with the Republican Party (36%) trailing behind.  Sarah Palin (28%) and the Tea Party (26%) receive lower favorability ratings. In terms of endorsements that will impact midterm outcomes, President Obama is more of an asset to candidates looking to energize young voters than Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.  Half of young people say they are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by President Obama, while only 26% say the same about Sarah Palin (64% less likely) or the Tea Party (54% less likely).

    Beyond the candidates are the issues at stake. Young people say they are more likely to back a candidate for U.S. Congress who supports investing in new technology to create jobs, seeks to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and will provide leadership on key social issues like immigration, marriage rights and sexual health education. For more specific statistics from the poll, visit our research page.

    In these upcoming midterm elections, the better question is not “Will young people turn out?” but rather “Will candidates pay attention to the issues of young people?”

    Observers from both parties interpreted the data to be an opportunity for candidates to connect with young people.

    “This data makes clear that there is real value for Republican candidates to target voters under age 30, “ says conservative pollster Brian Nienaber, Vice President of The Tarrance Group. “These voters have an improving image of the Republican Party.  In addition, the top concerns of these voters are the same pocketbook issues that are the focus of nearly every Republican candidate in the country.  Thoughtful messaging and appropriate targeting could yield a significant level of support with these voters.”

    Says progressive pollster John Anzalone, “In past election cycles we’ve heard about soccer moms and NASCAR dads, but in this cycle Democrats would be wise to target young people. Since moderates and independents are leaning Republican going into the November midterms, Democrats should appeal once again to the young people ages 18 to 29, who have not given up on them since the 2008 election. For all the criticisms that they don’t vote, this does show they are willing to engage when we go out and get them. Candidates who neglect young people are taking a major risk, as they will be the swing group for either party in 2010.”

    Young people may be more cynical this election cycle, but they are also now even more experienced. If candidates treat them like the sophisticated, energized voting bloc they truly are and address their issues, they will deliver.

    Heather Smith
    Bio: Heather is President of Rock the Vote.
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com

    New Polling Data Released

    Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

    Rock the Vote conducted a national poll of 1000 young people to gauge their feelings on a whole host of issues ranging from their feelings about Congress, President Obama, Social Security, likelihood of voting in the 2010 elections, same-sex marriage and their desire for comprehensive sex-ed over abstinence-only education.

    The results of the poll can be found here. In addition to the poll, Rock the Vote has released the entire cross-tabs, GOP and Democratic pollster analysis, a powerpoint presentation.


    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com