Impact of young voters and women on election

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Krystal Allan – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Political analysts say the results of Tuesday's election will largely hinge on turn-out.  It's who turns out, they say, that could turn the tide red or blue.

In the presidential election of 2008, some point to young voters and women as key demographics in the outcome.

For these mid-term elections, University of Southern Mississippi student Serge Huidobro believes young people will still make their voices heard. But the political science major said they might not carry as loudly as they did in 2008.

"It may be higher than previous mid-term elections, but it's probably not going to be that much higher, maybe like 10 percent. But enough to make a difference, especially in close races," said Huidobro.

The battle for the U.S. 4th Congressional District between incumbent Democrat Gene Taylor and Republican challenger Steven Palazzo falls under that category.

James Moody is also a political science student at the University of Southern Mississippi.  Though races like the congressional race have garnered a lot of attention, Moody said they might not resonate as readily with younger voters.

"They're not aware of the things at risk with the House of Congress, so maybe they're not as engaged as they should be," Moody said.

In this struggling economy, one of the major issues among young and older voters alike is jobs.

Karlyn Stephens is President of the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan political group.  Stephens said with the economic climate and women constituting big numbers in the workforce, jobs do play a big role at the ballot box.

"Women do much more breadwinning than they used to, so now women are beginning to understand how important the employment issues are, and economic issues and regulation," Stephens said.

The latest ABC News-Washington Post poll shows women are almost evenly divided in the generic ballot between Democrats and Republicans.

But, Stephens says she doesn't count on the polls to tell the full story.

"I think it influences voters, and I don't think it's necessarily accurate. I much rather people, instead of studying the polls, study the issues," Stephens said.

Remember, you can learn more about the candidates in Tuesdays race by clicking on's 2010 Election Center.

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