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Student Voters and Sharpton's Relevance

Jose Antonio Vargas and Shailagh Murray examine the role that students may play in the upcoming Iowa caucuses. In addition to Barack Obama, they write:

Many of the presidential candidates have actively courted young voters, sending them text messages, visiting college campuses and launching Web sites that explain the complicated caucus process. The goal is not only to win over these voters but, just as critically, to get the ripe but unreliable group to turn up at caucus sites, perhaps hundreds of miles from their homes...

Among the Democratic and Republican front-runners, only former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) does not have a specific program to reach out to student voters. Eric Woolson, who is running the campaign's Iowa operation, said, "I don't know if young voters are any different than any other voters."

Huckabee's campaign and the rest are aware, however, that student enthusiasm usually doesn't translate into student votes. Former Vermont governor Howard Dean was a big campus favorite in 2004, but that year, 18-to-24-year-olds amounted to less than 4 percent of Democratic caucusgoers.

Jose Antonio Vargas and Matthew Mosk also report on spending Christmas in Des Moines and the wave of nasty new campaign ads that will start this week.

Keith B. Richburg asks, "How does Al Sharpton remain relevant in a Barack Obama world?" and provides some answers in a profile of the New York activist.

And in Style, Philip Kennicott looks at the way bad candidate photos become news stories unto themselves.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 26, 2007; 7:28 AM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Today at The Post  
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