How 'Vote or Die!' Lured Youths to Vote in the 2004 American Presidential Elections Sebastian Oehme Author
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Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,0, Technical University of Chemnitz (Anglistik / Amerikanistik), course: Hauptseminar: American Presidential Elections, language: English, abstract: After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States of America remain the only undisputed world power. On a political level, the American president is often referred to as the 'most powerful man in the world' in a colloquial manner. He is not only the official head of state of the military and economic most powerful country on the globe but also the leader of the executive authority, commander-in-chief of the American army, first diplomat of his country, and the leader of his party. With such a mighty price on the line, the battle for the presidential chair is undoubtedly a hard and long-lasting one. In the American two-party system, the Democrats and Republicans compete to attract the majority of US citizens to get their vote in the multitude of elections that have taken place on the North American continent. As voting participation has dramatically fallen over the last decades, the two parties are nowadays forced to appeal to new voter blocs on the one hand, and activate their existing voter bases on the other hand. In the 2004 presidential elections, especially youth voters stood in the spotlight of medial coverage, as their percentaged participation in elections has been notably low in the past. That is why, many public campaigns were started to attract their attention and get them to cast their ballot. One organization is called Citizen Change. It gained international recognition with their catchy but also populist claim 'Vote or Die!' in the course of the 2004 elections. The 'Vote or Die!' campaign will be in the focus of this term paper, as I will outline and explain this campaign's motives, methods, and its influence on the electoral behavior of American youths.


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