Meet the Obama-era kids who are about to be first-time voters
Young people loved President Obama in 2008 — they turned out to support him more than any other recent Democratic presidential nominee.
But now, there's a new crop of young voters — the kids who came of age during the Obama presidency. They're are all grown up, and getting their first chance to vote for president.
They grew up in a different era — after Sept. 11 attacks and in the middle of the recession.
There's some indication that younger millennial voters are not as left-leaning as their big brothers and sisters. However, more still identify as Democrat than Republican, and a lot can change before they cast their first vote for president in 2016.
We asked first-time voters to share their earliest political memories, and we heard about praying for George W. Bush, family members losing jobs, fears of terrorism and the Daily Show. Here's what they had to say:
What Was Your Earliest Political Memory?
We met first-time voters at the University of New Hampshire and at Harvard's Institute of Politics conference, which brought in college students from across the country.
Justin Miller, 20, Nottingham, N.H., Student at University of New Hampshire
"Every night my dad would gather us up. I was probably 8. And we would actually pray for George Bush, that God would just give him clarity to make the right decisions and stuff like that, 'cause I've always believed that prayer has a lot of power to it. So that probably would be my first political, just, like, realizing what a president is. He has a lot of power. Like, that's the reason why I'm praying for him."
Shannon Pierce, 21, Cleveland, Student at Tennessee State University
"Obama won his second term when I was a freshman at Tennessee State University. And people were excited. And people loved Obama. But why? They liked Obama simply because he looked like us. And that is unacceptable. Because he literally could have had any viewpoint and they would have loved it. So when I realized how politically illiterate my campus was, that was an issue. We can't have that. So that's when I began to care."
Stephen Miller, 19, Boston, Student at UNH
"The economic crisis — '08, '09 — I was 12 years old, and my uncle actually lost his job because he worked for a private student loan firm in Boston, and there were new regulations passed in Congress that made that industry almost impossible to really operate and be profitable in, so they cut like 90 percent of their employees and he just happened to be one of them."
Abby Pokraka, 19, Falmouth, Mass., Student at UNH
"The 9/11 attacks and, like, George W. Bush trying to, like, console the American public and trying to, you know, be like a father figure almost and just tell everyone that it's going to be OK, and everything like that. And he also just, like, went right into Afghanistan to take out the terrorists and, like, assure the American public that, like, we were OK and that precautions would be taken to, like, secure the nation."
Anna Del Castillo, 19, Ocean Springs, Miss., Student at Tufts University
"I grew up in south Mississippi, with different views from a lot of my classmates. And for me, it wasn't just presidential elections, but local politics. The people who were coming into office, who were posting things on Facebook about their platform that were very much anti-immigrant, very much anti-LGBTQ rights and things like that, and for me that wasn't OK and I wanted to have a voice. Even if I was representing a small portion of my community, I still wanted my voice to be heard."
Halie Vilagi, 20, Amherst, Ohio, Student at Ohio State University
"Well, I grew up watching The Colbert Report and Jon Stewart, and that's kind of how I made my introduction to politics at a very young age."
— via NPR