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Statistics show that there are now more 18- to 34-year-old registered voters than ever before...but will they make it to the polls? Luke says recent high school and college grads who can't get a job and are feeling the effects of the economic crisis can't afford not to vote. If young voters show up in record numbers, Luke says he believes they will decide this election, particularly in states like Virginia and North Carolina.

In Virginia, he says 500,000 new voters have registered since January. About 60 percent of these people are 34 years old or younger. "That age demographic swings very highly toward Senator Obama," he says. "If these new registered voters in the state of Virginia, which hasn't voted for a Democrat since [Lyndon B. Johnson], go to the polls, it could very well swing the election."

Luke says young people are engaged in this election because they find the candidates more interesting than past nominees. "You have a former POW in John McCain. You have Senator Obama, the first African-American nominated for the office of the presidency of a major U.S. political party," Luke says. "You have to understand that young folks have always been drawn to Senator McCain and Senator Obama because they view them as being authentic. They view them as being bipartisan, and they view them as two candidates who are willing to tackle tough issues and not just be completely tied into a party line."

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FROM: Oprah Fridays Live with Halle Berry and Luke Russert
Published on October 17, 2008


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