Kids bring their passion for politics to Denverby Nikki Tundel, Minnesota Public Radio
The media have been talking a lot about demographics this week. What are Hillary Clinton supporters thinking? What about working-class voters in key swing states?
Minnesota Public Radio decided to poll a rarely heard group -- the 10-and-under set.
St. Paul, Minn. — Behind the group condemning homosexuals and next to those calling for the imprisonment of George Bush stands Mylee. She's 5. And she's wearing a bright green frog mask.
Like thousands of others in Denver, Mylee has come out to protest.
Why? "Because frogs are dying and I love animals," she says.
Mylee's dad let her miss a day of kindergarten so she could, as he says, learn more about democracy.
Her 7-year-old sister Malia seems a little overwhelmed by all the adults screaming into bullhorns, but she loves seeing all the people wearing Barack Obama t-shirts. She's a big supporter of the Democratic nominee.
"I think he's gonna win and I think he's really good," Malia says.
So what does she like about Obama?
"Um, his speeches," she says.
At least in a highly unscientific sample of the under-5th grade demographic, it was hard to find a John McCain supporter, and Malia isn't the only Obama supporter who's nowhere near voting age.
Nine-year-old Tucker is wearing a "Democrats in '08" shirt dotted with Barack Obama buttons.
"I like Obama and I don't McCain very much because he's 95 percent George Bush," Tucker says.
With him is Sage, also 9 years old, who's on a mission to find "coolest" Obama campaign sign. And just what is it that she likes about the Illinois Senator?
"He seems like he could help America," she says.
When Sage is asked what is wrong with America that needs help, Sage says, "Well, I'm not sure."
That's when Tatum, age 3, jumps in.
"George Bush is a bad president."
It's possible that Tatum's politics have been influenced by her parents. But that's not the case for 9-year-old Geneva. The Denver resident begged her mom to take her downtown so she could experience the DNC scene.
Geneva stands in the aisle of a light rail train beaming and clutching a piece of paper. On it is an autograph she picked up today, the signature of a delegate whose name escapes her at the moment. She'll try to decipher it later so she can include the name in an extra-credit report she volunteered to write. The topic of the essay: why I love politics.
"Well, I like it because it's kinda fun to see who wins or not," Geneva says. "It's fun cause you get to vote in your head even if you don't really get to vote. "
And not only does Geneva like Barack Obama's political platform, she says he's got a name that's just really fun to say.
- All Things Considered, 08/28/2008, 4:21 p.m.