On November 5th, election eve, my son Minh Jeffrey sent me an e-mail note: “Awesome! I am so ready to vote!”
It was his first election – and voters like him made a huge difference.
On Election Day, I spent the evening at Obama campaign headquarters in San Francisco.
When Ohio, with its 18 electoral college votes, was called for Obama, putting the president at 274 votes, the volunteers cheered and applauded loudly, many jumping up and down, embracing and hugging each other, telling each other, “We did it!” A few were wiping tears of joy; I was among them.
The large number of young volunteers at Obama campaign headquarters reflected their vital role in re-electing President Obama. The number of fiirst time voters amoung young adults across the U.S. this presidential election reached an all-time high.
According to a Nov. 23 Huffinton Post article, 21 percent of those eligible to vote were between 18 and 29 years old, and based on exit polls 19 of the vote was young people, a percentage point higher than in the 2008 presidential election. Approximately 60 percent voted for President Obama.
According to a Chicago Tribune article, a Reuters/IPSOS poll showed that young adults voted for Obama by a margin of 2 to 1.
Young and old, the American people spoke clearly on Nov. 6. Now it is up to us, the American people, to stand united and strongly with President Obama. We may not agree with him on every issue or strategy, but his ability to move forward progressive agendas depends, in part, I believe, on the American people’s standing up to the likes of Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell, when they try to stonewall the President as they have tried to do for the past four years.
While the Republicans still hold a majority in the House of Representatives, whether they will continue to be successful at creating gridlock in government, and stonewalling Obama, will depend on how much bullying they are allowed to get away with by the electorate, the American people.