Hollywood-based Look-Look, Inc. research firm takes the political pulse of its national trendsetter sample to share insights on what's in and what's out among America's youngest eligible voters.
There's no need to guess which candidate young voters support in the upcoming election, thanks to politically inspired fashion looks. Young people are customizing everything from T-shirts to hoodies (hooded sweatshirts) to express their political opinions. Political pins are the must-have accessory of the season, whether strategically placed on a backpack, or on the most expensive Gucci bag.
IT'S ALL ABOUT ME:
A tight race in the last election, paired with strong feelings toward the war in Iraq â€” just what young voters needed to realize the importance of their individual vote this year. Some 58 percent of Look-Look respondents feel that their vote will make a difference in the outcome of the 2004 presidential election.
THE REAL MUST-SEE TV:
Young people are increasingly reporting an interest in political content, rather than the expected teen programming du jour. MTV's Choose or Lose, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and most notably, the presidential debates, have captured the attention of a younger audience. A majority of 64 percent of Look-Look respondents reported that they tuned in to the presidential debates. Also, political documentaries such as Fahrenheit 9/11 and Outfoxed have gained popularity among this cohort.
TIME TO PARTY:
With your favorite political party that is. Young voters have become more and more creative with their political involvement and activism, by conducting grassroots fund-raisers, hosting backyard Bush BBQs, and belting it out at Kerry-oke nights.
Apathy is certainly not in vogue, as 80 percent of Look-Look respondents plan to vote this year. Sure, gossip, music and fashion are still high priorities, but cafeteria talk, more frequently than not, also consists of campaign and political rhetoric. Lizzie, a 20 year-old student from New York says, â€œToday's political climate has woken my friends up to reality. Suddenly, we're going to sleep thinking about waking up in Iraq, going to work wondering if we will again be evacuated because of a terrorist scare and realizing that our vote really does matter.â€?
It's no longer about the candidate with charisma. Dimples and sax playing (alone) won't get this group's vote. Young adults are looking at the important issues. War and domestic defense policies, the economy, and education are the main topics that will drive them to the polls this November.
STAND BY YOUR MAN:
Party lines and parents have little influence on young voters. Issues such as gay marriage, war and the economy have compelled them to cross party lines and think twice about how they will exercise their franchise.
Entertainment reporters have taken a break from asking
celebrities â€œWho are you wearing?â€? as the focus of red
carpet chatter has shifted to talk of political issues. Celebs are
voicing their political views more than ever before. Drew Barrymore
and Christina Aguilera have both hosted specials as part of MTV's
Choose or Lose campaign; P. Diddy launched controversial
â€œVote Or Dieâ€? T-shirts. Hilary Duff and Tony Hawk have
both been featured on national PSAs, and Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie
Mains and Taye Diggs have been featured in an ubiquitous ACLU ad
Source: Look-Look. Inc. (www.look-look.com)