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OVERVIEW Like a bizarre game of musical chairs both Democrats and Republicans are scrambling to capture the votes of Americas young adults Comprising more than 17 percent of the entire US electorate 18- to 24-year-olds have become a commodity to political strategists regardless of their elephant or donkey persuasion However of the limited non-partisan groups striving to motivate young voters few could adequately compete with MTVs Rock the Vote created by recording artists in 1990 Studies conclude that motivating young voters is dependent upon a variety of factors Tindell and Medhurst 1998 identified four factors most likely to affect the voteno vote decision for young voters - a sense of duty perceived personal benefits from the elections outcome personal concern over the elections outcome and a groups perceived effect on the elections outcome Their study concluded that Rock the Vote met each of these four criteria and were able to turn out more than 17 million young adults in the 1992 general election While Rock the Vote touted its purported victory of a 65 percent increase from the 1988 general election in voter turnout among 18- to 24-year-olds numbers from ensuing elections indicate that since the 1992 general election the numbers are dwindling In fact the US Census Bureau reported that the 2000 general election hit an all-time low for voters in this age group NEW STRATEGIES According to an article in Contemporary Sexuality 2002 research indicates that viewers of MTV programming were unable to easily identify with candidates during mid-term elections Stephen Freidman an MTV executive said If we talk about the importance of voting in and of itself it falls flat The solution use sex Couched in terms of sex education and issue awareness MTV aired a Fight for Your Rights special entitled Sex in the Classroom on Oct 3 2002 The show contrasted abstinence-only programs and virginity pledges with comprehensive sex education programs by including poll findings in the special
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