Caucus campaign events tend to be populated by, well, older audiences.
Unless you go to a Ron Paul campaign rally. There you’re as likely to see parents holding babies as white hair.
The recent State University/Gazette/KCRG-TV9 poll bears out the fact that Paul appeals to younger voters
Perhaps too much, some are suggesting.
The poll found that Paul has the support of 60 percent of the 18-29 age group and 53 percent of the 20-44 age group.
So what’s the problem? His support drops to 11 percent among the 45-64 age group and to just 9 percent among likely caucusgoers age 65 and older – Paul’s cohort.
Gingrich and Romney had the most support among those 45 and older – 32 percent, while Romney received 31.4 percent from those 65 and older.
So despite Paul’s front running 27 percent in the poll, some Republican operatives and caucus observers believe his support is overstated because young voters have never shown up in large numbers at GOP caucuses.
Paul doesn’t seem worried about it. He is optimistic young Republicans and disaffected Democrats and independents will be attracted to the caucuses by his message of personal freedom and individual liberty.
Paul is encouraged by the participation of young voters.
“They’re starting to understand what they’re getting, the burden they have,” Paul said. He’s also encouraged by their healthy disregard for government.
Still, questions persist if young voters will actually go out on a cold Iowa night to hang around with people their parents’ ages to cast a straw vote for a guy old enough to be their grandfather.
“Hey, did they show up for Barack Obama?” asks Will Johnson, a tea party activist and Paul volunteer.
Skeptics say Obama was something of a phenomenon. They’d see the same sort of enthusiasm if they went to a Paul rally on a college campus. On homecoming weekend at the University of Iowa more than 1,200 people showed up to hear Paul. Some GOP multi-candidate events don’t attract that many people.
The GOP youth vote is overwhelmingly behind Paul, Johnson said.
That’s due, in part, to them not being as heavily invested in the status quo as their parents.
“They haven’t been saying the same old things for 20 or 40 years,” he said.
There’s another side to this argument.
According to Dave Peterson, interim director of the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State and associate professor of political science who assisted with the poll, suggest Paul actually under-polls.
“His supporters are younger and more likely to reply on a cell phone, so he’s probably going to perform better than his polling suggests,” Peterson said. “His supporters also are dedicated and will likely turn out on caucus night and not change their minds.”
One the calendar:
Michele Bachmann, 9 a.m., Oasis Coffee House, Bloomfield; 10 a.m., Tangleberries, Centerville; 11 a.m., Lodge Pizza & Steakhouse, Corydon; 12:15 p.m., Papa Leo’s, Chariton; 1:40 p.m., Christian Opportunity Center, Pella; 2:50 p.m., Uncle Nancy’s Coffee House, Newton
Rick Perry, 10:45 a.m., Main Street Café, Council Bluffs; 1:15 p.m., Glenn Miller Museum, Clarinda; 3:30 p.m., Adams Street Espresso, Creston; 5 :30 p.m., Clarke County REC, Osceola
Newt Gingrich, Iowa
Rick Perry, 7 a.m., Westside Conservative Club, Machine Shed Restaurant, Urbandale; 1:30 p.m., The Sports Page, Indianola; 3:30 p.m. Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Pella; 5 p.m., Smokey Row Coffee Shop, Oskaloosa
Ron Paul, noon, Iowa Speedway Media Center, Newton; 3 p.m., employee meeting at GuideOne Insurance, West Des Moines; 7 p.m., salute to veterans, Knapp Learning Center, Iowa State Fair Grounds, Des Moines
Rick Perry, 10 a.m., Coffee Corner, Washington; 12:30 p.m., Blue Strawberry, 118 2nd St. SE, Cedar Rapids; 5:30 p.m., Fisher Community Center Auditorium, Marshalltown
Ron Paul, noon, Hotel Pattee, Perry; 3 p.m., Cass County Community Center, Atlantic; 7 p.m., Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs
Rick Perry, noon, Doughy Joey’s, 300 W. 4th St, Waterloo; 2:45 p.m., Fainting Goat, Waverly; 5:30 p.m., Cerro Gordo County GOP fundraiser, Mason City County Club
Newt Gingrich, 10 a.m., Moms Matter Coffee Break, Java Joe’s, Des Moines
Ron Paul, 1 p.m., Le Mars Convention Center; 3 p.m., Sioux Center Public Library’ 7 p.m., River Bend Convention Center/Stoney Creek Inn, Sioux Center
Rick Perry, 10:30 a.m., Bloomers at Central Coffee Shop, Fort Dodge; 12:45 p.m., Dutch Oven Bakery, Boone