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Don't worry about Hillary: Bring on the youth

  • Ron Rapoport
    Ron Rapoport  Normally pessimistic about youth voter turnout, Rapoport believes this year's election may prove him wrong.  
  • Ron Rapoport
    Ron Rapoport  The government professor predicts that former supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton will enthusiastically support Democratic candidate Barack Obama with their votes.  
  • Ron Rapoport
    Ron Rapoport  The professor is delighted that he will get to view all the political this year as Virginia is at play as a swing state.  
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In a recent conversation about the upcoming election, William and Mary John Marshall Professor of Government  Ron Rapoport noted an “overblown” aspect of the election has been the projected worry that supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t vote for Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Barack Obama on Election Day.

Bitter primary or not, Rapoport says he’s confident that voters committed to Hilary Clinton will turn out Election Day in support of the democratic nominee.  He noted his research has found this behavior among voters to be a fairly consistent pattern.  When a voter becomes active in a political campaign early in the race, Rapoport said, they remain engaged in the election whether or not the candidate that got them involved advances.  His research on voter behavior focuses, in part, on activation of voters - especially by third party candidates. Rapoport is the co-author of “Three’s a Crowd: The Dynamic of Third Parties, Ross Perot, and Republican Resurgence (2005).”

Rapoport, who has studied voter behavior for more than 20 years,  also noted that the 2008 Presidential Campaign between Obama and Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain was never as close as it was portrayed earlier by the media. “There has been a lot more stability in this election than people are willing to admit,” Rapoport said. “The plethora of polls has led people to misinterpret how close the election really is.”

Rapoport addressed the topics of voter activation during a recent interview where he also discussed the role of the youth vote and the likelihood Virginia voters will have a significant impact on the outcome of the 2008 Presidential race.