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Young Voters’ Poll Show Too Many are Asking “Who is Bill Richardson?”

LatinaLista — For those of us who have entertained the idea of seeing the first Hispanic President of the United States, well, we might have to wait a few more years.

Today, Young Voter Strategies released a poll titled Polling Young Voters, Volume III: Early 2008 Presidential Picks.

The poll asked young adults who they favored at this moment in time for President.

Young adult Democrats’ top three choices are:

1. Hillary Clinton
2. Barack Obama
3. John Edwards

Coming in at #4 is Bill Richardson

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson

It’s kind of ironic that Richardson would get such a poor showing among young adults seeing that Latinos are the youngest demographic in the nation.

In fact, what the poll shows is Bill Richardson is hardly known to young adults. He scored a cumulative percentage of only 5%. Among the adults, it was a tad higher with 17% – but he still came in fourth.

It’s not like Bill isn’t trying to reach out to young people.

On his web site Bill Richardson for President Exploratory Committee, he has links to every popular social network that young people are on: Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, etc.

So, why don’t more young Democrats know about him or the qualifications that easily surpass Barak’s resume?

Because Bill is committing the number one mistake adults make with young people: He’s talking AT them and not TO them.

In fact, a lot of what is written in his name sounds, pardon the expression, “canned.”

I was going to hunt for some examples to support this theory when on Bill’s own MySpace page there was an insightful message from a reader named “Thor.”

Thor sums up the problem nicely:

Dear. Gov. Richardson, or person who maintains this site. I think this site would be better if it was more personalized. What type of person is Bill, talk about his films, books, tv shows etc etc. Who is Bill Richardson?

Just as all these social network sites have revolutionized how this new generation interacts with one another, so too has it changed the rules of political campaigns and media in general.

Today, and in the foreseeable future as this generation matures, it will always be about the conversation, sharing a part of yourself.

Who can converse with someone who is just about the facts? That’s not sharing by today’s definition.

Whether she liked it or not, Hillary had her life shared before all of us, courtesy of Monica Lewinsky.

Barak Obama meets with Nebraska Young Democrats at a steak fry.
(Source: University of Nebraska- Omaha Young Democrats)

Barak, by virtue of his birthright, has been sharing all over the country.

Bill, who can claim a birthright just as proudly as Barak, isn’t sharing all that much.

Where before a candidate needed tons of dinero to create and broadcast campaign commercials or travel from one part of the country to another to speak one-on-one to potential voters, he/she has all of that capability now at their fingertips — literally.

But there is a secret ingredient to tap into this wealth of new technology and new dialogue — creativity.

This generation thrives on it. A candidate doesn’t have to lose the message while being creative.

Like his MySpace page, Bill’s YouTube film was not creative – just the filming of what sounded more like a political rally.

Where’s the creativity in that? Where’s the fun in watching that?

If a candidate wants to reach these young adults, then they better speak their language.

There are so many tools available to candidates to get their message out there: viral videos promoting the candidate, establishing a presence on Second Life,…

If I gave any more suggestions, I would have to charge a consultant’s fee 🙂

But there’s no excuse for coming in fourth when young supporters like Thor are ready to help — they’re just waiting to be heard.

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