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Young voters propelling Ron Paul’s campaign

January 13, 2012 • National News


FILE – In this Jan. 11, 2012 file photo, Ivy Littlejohn, 13, of Pacolet, S.C. watches as Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas speak in West Columbia, S.C. A 76-year-old great-grandfather who gives eye-glazing speeches on monetary policy, displays a crotchety streak and disappears from the Republican campaign trail for days at a time to rest up is captivating young voters. Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s libertarian message clicks with young people, who are supplying zest to his stronger-than-expected presidential campaign. Why would young people gravitate to the oldest guy in the field? “Freedom is a young idea,” says one youthful voter. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A 76-year-old great-grandfather who gives eye-glazing speeches on monetary policy, displays a crotchety streak and disappears from the Republican campaign trail for days at a time to rest is captivating young voters.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s libertarian message of less government, personal liberty and ending U.S. military involvement overseas clicks with young people, who are supplying zest for his stronger-than-expected presidential campaign. Nearly half of all voters under 30 went for Paul in the first two states to vote, helping to propel him to a second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary and third place in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses.

Why would young people gravitate to the oldest guy in the field?

“Freedom is a young idea,” says Eddie Clearwater, a 22-year-old Des Moines photographer who attended a Ron Paul party in Ankeny, Iowa, earlier this month. “All of his policies are such a good, radical change. It’s what we need.”

Paul’s campaign events are charged with an energy that any politician would love, attracting an eclectic band of youthful activists ranging from preppy college students to blue collar workers to artists sporting piercings and dreadlocks. At his party after the New Hampshire primary, there were spontaneous chants of Login to read more

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