Kids Dig Obama, But McCain Can Gain

Harvard study tells McCain he has a chance with young voters.

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DENVER—Sure, Sen. Barack Obama is cleaning up on the youth vote, but a new Harvard University Institute of Politics study finds that Sen. John McCain is close enough on some issues - terrorism, the war and immigration reform — that he can chip away at the block the Democrats are depending on to win the White House. "The youth vote should not be taken for granted by the Obama campaign or written off by the McCain campaign," says John Della Volpe, the Institute's polling director. The school just delivered their latest poll to Whispers and it has Obama beating McCain 55 percent to 32 percent among voters 18-24. It's a little bigger than the actual 2004 vote, when Sen. John Kerry beat President George Bush among younger voters 52 percent to 39 percent. But while nobody thinks McCain will best Obama among kids, there is reason for him to be hopeful of winning enough votes among 18-24-year-olds to diminish Obama's Election Day haul. The poll, for example, finds that a majority of McCain's youth voters are excited about his candidacy. That's a far cry from the Obama figure of 83 percent, but something Della Volpe noted as a positive for McCain. Also, he said that when so-called millennial voters were asked to give advice to the candidates, the responses were very similar and focused on the economy.