Kerry Concedes, Diddy Speaks

Democratic presidential

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,”

Diddy said.

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