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American Politics

Alison Dana Howard

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Policy-Making Rhetoric And Youth Issues In The 2004 Presidential Campaign, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard Apr 2007

Policy-Making Rhetoric And Youth Issues In The 2004 Presidential Campaign, Donna R. Hoffman, Alison D. Howard

Alison Dana Howard

Campaigns make strategic decisions about appealing to various electoral groups. In 2004, both presidential campaigns did choose to appeal to those younger than 30 with their policy-making rhetoric. The authors find, however, that Bush and Kerry approached this demographic differently. Bush did not single out young adults to the extent Kerry did. Instead, Bush chose to treat young voters more as a part of the general electorate than a distinct group, appealing to their self-interest. Kerry was more attentive, directly targeting young citizens by focusing on issues of higher education and especially seeking to appeal to service-oriented young adults.