July 16, 2012
YDA President Rod Snyder responds to a column by George P. Bush and Brad Dayspring about young voters’ allegiances in 2012. Read the full text of Snyder’s letter to the editor here.
George P. Bush and Brad Dayspring, in their Opinion article, “Youth Not Served by the President” (POLITICO, July 10), demonstrated that they are out of touch with the thoughts and opinions of America’s young voters.
Young Americans have felt the burden of finding their footing in the aftermath of a global economic recession, worsened by the Bush administration’s reckless fiscal policies. President Barack Obama has led a steady recovery, but more work must be done. Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans, however, are rooting for failure — blocking key legislation and slowing the recovery for partisan gain…
April 04, 2012
“As the Republican Presidential Primary Circus continues, the American people are becoming less than amused by the politics and policies that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are advocating,” said YDA President Rod Snyder. “Facts are stubborn, and the facts of the politics and policies of the Republican frontrunners are that they are aimed at disenfranchising young Americans, women, minorities, and entire regions of our nation, while empowering very few. This is not the legacy of the America we have inherited or the legacy we should want to pass on to future generations.”
“Maryland, as a solid blue state, missed much of the excitement of the Republican primary and had a relatively quiet Primary Election Day as the Romney/Santorum battle was barely felt here with the candidates focusing their efforts elsewhere in the country”, said Young Democrats of Maryland President Erin Schurmann. “We were happy to once again vote for President Obama and reaffirm our support for our friend, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. This fall, we’ll be defending the DREAM Act and marriage equality, as well. Maryland produced the most per-capita volunteer hours for President Obama and Democrats around the country in 2008. We’re determined to beat that number in 2012 and fight to keep our country in the hands of leaders who fight for better health care, a fair economy, a cleaner environment, and civil rights for all of its citizens.”
“The people of Wisconsin, Maryland, and Washington, DC know that the minority that have come to vote this evening are effectively doing so with one hand tied behind their back,” said YDA Executive Vice President Colmon Elridge. “Republican voters increasingly understand and their lack of enthusiasm are proof that their presidential candidates are not prepared to lead our nation and young voters especially understand that the Republicans have no vision to guide our nation into the future. These candidates want to play president. Barack Obama is President and has earned the opportunity to lead our nation for another four years.”
For more information on the Young Democrats of Maryland, please visit www.ydmaryland.org and more for information on the Young Democrats of America, please visit www.YDA.org.
March 22, 2012
Earlier today, YDA South Central Region Director John Gorczynski published a post on Burnt Orange Report in response to Mitt Romney’s statement that he doesn’t understand how young voters can support Democrats. John lays out more than a few good reasons why we’re sticking with President Obama and the Democrats:
Romney is right to fear the youth vote this November as a major obstacle in his attempt for the White House. In the last presidential election, Millennial Americans came out in force against the failed policies of a Republican president which led to the worst unemployment we’ve seen in our lifetime. While Romney made part of his fortune by acquiring companies, laying people off and then reaping the profit, young Americans are grateful for the $2 billion President Obama and the Democrats saw fit to invest in grants that make career training accessible to more people…
…The Millennial generation will vote in November for the party that values expanded educational opportunities, stands with hard-working American families, and refuses to turn its back on women and LGBT Americans. They will vote for Democratic candidates.
The full blog post can be read here.
February 29, 2012
With Mitt Romney having been declared the winner in both the Michigan and Arizona primaries, the Young Democrats of America continue to highlight the reality that Republican primary voters have once again selected as their standard bearer a candidate who has articulated no vision for the future of our nation and who continues to be out of step with the millions of young people who will go to the polls this November to vote 0n the future of America.
“Mitt Romney continues to show that arrogance and not vision is the right strategy to win the Republican nomination”, said YDA Executive Vice President Colmon Elridge. “With arrogance, no vision for America, and worse, no belief in the young people of this nation and the spirit that defines our people and our work ethic, Mitt Romney may lead his party, but he is no leader for the American people or for our generation.”
“Mitt Romney’s win in Arizona shows just how much he’s caved in to the extreme right-wing of his party”, said Andres Cano, President of the Young Democrats of Arizona. “With the help of divisive politicians like Governor Jan Brewer and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, tonight validates that Mr. Romney has surrounded himself with extremists rather than focus on America’s mainstream voters. Young people in Arizona are taking notice, and if the last election was any example of our power, flip-flopper Mitt Romney won’t stand a chance here.”
“While Mr. Romney spent the week alienating the auto industry, immigrants rights groups and all women”, said YDA Executive Director Emily Sussman, “President Obama found a way to keep $40 a week in the pockets of young Americans by signing the Payroll Tax Cut Extension. The President is leading a nation, Mr. Romney is trying, rather unconvincingly, to lead a segment of his party.”
The Young Democrats of America, the largest partisan, youth-led political organization in the nation, will continue to work to educate young people on how President Obama and the Democratic Party have fought for a vision of an American built to last, and contrast it with the lack of vision and leadership that has come to define both the leading Republican presidental candidates, and the GOP as a whole.
February 03, 2012
The 2012 presidential election presents young voters with a choice between two fundamentally different visions for America. Much is at stake and, as citizens of this great nation, we collectively shoulder tremendous responsibility to vote for the candidate who best represents the core values that have made us who we are as the United States of America and who will move us forward in difficult times.
At the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, President Obama spoke clearly and compellingly of the values that guide his vision for the future of our nation. Citing the importance of morality in our politics and policy, the President asserted that “We can’t leave our values at the door. If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries, and allowed us to become somewhat of a more perfect union.” He proceeded by enumerating the fundamental precepts that drive his policymaking and laid out a foundational framework for thinking about values in the public square. “Treating others as you want to be treated. Requiring much from those who have been given so much. Living by the principle that we are our brother’s keeper. Caring for the poor and those in need…Today, with as many challenges as we face, these are the values I believe we’re going to have to return to in the hopes that God will buttress our efforts.” The President also called on Americans to live out our values “not just with words, but with deeds.”
As young Americans, we stand by President Obama’s words and also his deeds. We stand by his values-based vision for our country which has led to the expansion of healthcare coverage for people who can’t afford it. We stand by his efforts to expand opportunity for all Americans by improving our public schools, increasing access to higher education and job training, and reforming our broken financial and mortgage systems. We are heartened by our President’s willingness to stand by gay and lesbian Americans, undocumented immigrants, and our brothers and sisters caught in the nefarious web of poverty that confines the lives and potential of too many in the richest nation in the world. In trying times, President Obama represents what is right for America and we are confident in his leadership, integrity and resolve to take us into the future better and stronger together.
The President faces an important test, however, in this November’s election. His opponents have significant financial resources and will stop at nothing to defeat him. Unfortunately for our country, they represent an out of touch, individualistic vision for the United States that significantly strays from our core values. Instead of presenting policies and practicing politics that emphasize the “greater together”, e pluribus unum nature that has defined America since its founding, they have each embraced the Paul Ryan budget which takes two-thirds of its cuts from services that help level the opportunity playing field for low-income Americans. Given that Mitt Romney is “not concerned about the very poor” in the toughest time since the Great Depression and New Gingrich’s solution for closing the opportunity gap for African American children is to put them to work as school janitors, this comes as no surprise. Yet it is no less disheartening. We are facing incredible challenges as a nation. We need a leader who puts the American people first rather than winning the next election.
The 2012 election presents us with a choice that will impact us in the short- and long-term and have significant ramifications not only on what gets done in Washington, but what type of country we want to be moving forward. Join us in supporting President Obama and affirming that, as Americans, we will emerge from these difficult times greater together rather than farther apart.
- Rod, Colmon & Josh
Rod Snyder is President of the Young Democrats of America
Colmon Elridge is Executive VP of the Young Democrats of America
Josh Dickson is the Director of the YDA Faith & Values Initiative
January 31, 2012
Former Governor Mitt Romney won the GOP Primary this evening after spending more than $15 million dollars to defeat his chief rival Newt Gingrich. The vote tonight continues to illustrate a Republican party unhappy with the choices to lead their party and unconvinced any of their candidates are ready to lead the United States.
After outspending Newt Gingrich by a margin of 5 to 1, Mitt Romney is showing that if his agenda cannot endear him to the GOP party faithful, he believes his best strategy is to buy the nomination at any expense.
“The vote tonight in the Sunshine state shows a Republican party out of touch with the average Floridian as well as with the majority of Americans”, said YDA Executive Vice President Colmon Elridge. “Governor Romney continues to believe that the path to victory is to throw money at elections and repeat what his pollsters and staff are telling him to say, feel, and think rather than offering a solid vision for America or standing on principle. Young Americans are focused on how we can work together to build the strongest future for all Americans, not just the few. Meanwhile, Governor Romney continues to promote cutting access to college education by cutting Pell Grants and encourage cutting Social Security, which more and more of our grandparents have not only earned but depend on. He continues to disavow the DREAM Act and a defined path to citizenship for young people who have earned it, and he continues to position himself as a fringe candidate for a nomination, not a leader for the United States of America.”
“Romney, Gingrich and their allies spent money hand over fist to buy the support of the voters in our fair sunshine state”, said Florida Young Democrats President Justin Spiller. “At the same time, state Republicans are trying to make sure that the voter suppression law recently enacted remains in place to restrict the vote of not just the youth of Florida but seniors, blacks and Hispanics. The Florida Young Democrats and Democrats period will continue to work in the best interest of all Floridians, and re-electing our President is essential to that cause.”
Florida native Alexander Lewy who serves as YDA Jewish Caucus Chair also added, “Jewish Americans don’t look favorably on candidates who treat Israeli security like a political football. Romney and Gingrich have lied to Floridians about President Obama’s ironclad commitment to Israel’s security. President Obama provided funding and support for Israel’s latest defense projects and condemned Palestinian rocket attacks against the Jewish State of Israel. Our President has also supported funding for Jewish community services while in 2003 Mitt Romney vetoed Kosher food funding for Jewish nursing homes.”
The Young Democrats of America continue to support President Obama’s Blueprint for an “America Built to Last” and look forward to working with young leaders and allied organizations in Florida and throughout the nation to support the President. We will register young Americans to vote, mobilize young leaders in support of an agenda that empowers our generation to attain the American dream, and educate young voters on the stark contract between the Democratic and Republican agendas in 2012.
January 12, 2012
The following analysis of the 2012 New Hampshire primary is from New Hampshire Young Democrats Vice President Doug Lindner:
The combined number of young people voting for all the Republicans in Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary just barely exceeded the number of young people who voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 New Hampshire Primary—when he lost to Hillary Clinton. Obama received more votes overall when he came in second four years ago than Romney did coming in first this year.
That’s because what happened yesterday was not a victory for Mitt Romney; it was a defeat for the Republican field.
Romney took our state for granted because he consistently polled first, while polling behind a succession of other Republicans in Iowa and South Carolina. In fact, he only had one campaign office here—unheard of! But that doesn’t mean Romney has strong support in the Granite State. It just reflects the weakness of his rivals.
For the third competitive cycle in a row, the social conservative in the race has gotten major momentum from the Iowa Republican Caucus, only to be decisively rejected in the New Hampshire Republican Primary. After winning the 2000 Iowa Caucus, George W. Bush lost the New Hampshire Primary by double digits. Five days after winning the 2008 Iowa Caucus, Mike Huckabee came in third in New Hampshire, with a mere 11% of the vote. The winner that year, John McCain, more than tripled Huckabee’s vote in the Granite State.
This year, Rick Santorum won (at least in perception) the Iowa Caucus, and a week later, he came in fifth, with 9.4% of the New Hampshire Primary vote. He got zero delegates. Even Newt Gingrich—a candidate who is said to have stayed in the race after Iowa solely to help Santorum attack Romney in debates—narrowly beat Santorum here.
The fact is that, like young people nationwide, New Hampshire voters are not looking for a socially conservative President. Culture warriors should not expect to win primaries in a place where gay marriage is popular and the Democratic Governor who signed it into law was re-elected in the Republican wave of 2010.
This is not to say that New Hampshire Republicans are a generally moderate bunch. Many times since Republicans retook the (huge, part-time) legislature in 2010, our state has repeatedly made national news for their embarrassing statements and proposals. (Search recent news for “Magna Carta” to see what I mean). But conservative voters here care about taxes and spending (and yes, guns), not gays and school prayer.
Look at who came second and third on Tuesday: Ron Paul, a small government crusader, and Jon Huntsman, a moderate on social issues who understands foreign policy, believes the science on global warming (at least half the time), and served in the Obama administration. Romney, Paul, and Huntsman were the only candidates who got more than 10% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary. But of course, Ron Paul is out of step with his party on many issues, and Jon Huntsman worked for Obama, so each has a ceiling on potential Republican support.
The biggest loser in Tuesday’s primary was culture warrior Rick Perry. America’s longest serving Governor, once by far the national front-runner, got less than 1%. He barely beat Buddy Roemer, who has been shut out of every debate. Perry lost so badly he got fewer votes statewide than did Gingrich in Manchester alone—and Gingrich came in fourth, with less than 10%!
This failure of the Republican field has implications beyond New Hampshire, with our four electoral votes, and beyond the Northeast, where Republicans expect to lose in November: their weakness in New Hampshire is their weakness in the millennial generation.
January 10, 2012
YDA Treasurer Jonathan Padilla published an opinion piece on NYTimes.com explaining that the Millennial Generation is fed up with gridlock in Washington but has not lost faith in President Obama.
“Obama has not lost young voters; Washington has. In fact, it’s the president who is one of the remaining champions young people have inside the beltway… [A recent poll] is being touted as proof that young voters have lost faith in the president, but a closer reading will show that he still defeats any Republican in the presidential field, including an 11-point rout over Mitt Romney.”
You can read the full text of the op-ed here.