candidate John Kerry has conceded the race for U.S. president to George W. Bush
in a phone call early today (November 3rd).
Hip-Hop mogul P. Diddy spoke
on the impact of his “Vote or Die” campaign to raise youth votes.
“The voter turnout
overall is up,” Diddy told NBC News. “And one of the turnouts that
they thought would not go up was the youth voter.”
Diddy’s goal with
Citizen Change, he said, was to get 20 million youth to cast their votes—a
feat that has exceeded expectations.
“You can tell by the
polls, the lines. The young people in the colleges and in the inner cities [are]
on lines like never before and the energy’s just so incredible for them
to be interested in this election.”
Diddy pointed out the stagnant
proportion of youth voters reported at exit polls, didn’t tell the entire
story. About the same percentage of youth voted as last year, according to those
polls. “I think it’s a little bit deceiving,” said Diddy.
“This effort has been extremely successful beyond what we thought.”
According to a CIRCLE analysis,
more than 50 percent of young voters turned out in the presidential election.
In the ten most contested battleground states, youth turnout was 64 percent.
That people were even discussing
the youth vote, Diddy said, was commendable. “For the first time in a
long time, maybe for the first time in history, they’re talking about
the youth vote and the impact that it’s having,” he said.
Diddy also predicted the
youth vote would make a difference in Ohio, a state that hung in the balance
throughout the night. A question on the minds of many Hip-Hop voters though,
is whether Diddy will sustain the youth voting movement beyond this election.
“I think you have to take it day by day,” said Diddy. “I think
that the process has been overly complicated to young voters.”
Citizen Change attempted
to simplify the process by raising real issues and informing youths on the power
of their vote, according to Diddy.
“We want to thank
all the young people out there for finally standing up and not being ignored,”