Why the Tea Party Loses Young Voters (and what we can do about it)

via the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance magazine.

“Free markets, fiscal responsibility, and constitutionally limited government. Which one of those is the problem for young voters?

Too often, we on the Tea Party side of things allow the conversation with young people (or millennials) to start from the wrong direction. The media and the left want to focus on certain areas where some young voters face cultural differences with conservatives, often times social issues. But this straw man ignores the heart of the Tea Party message.

The heart of the Tea Party message is anti-authoritarian. Conservatism has always been in favor of strong institutions such as the family, the market, and the church. However, the Tea Party diverges from past conservative thought by more consciously setting itself against the inherent abuse of power that comes with the state.

This disposition against state power fits with the priorities of younger voters. Millennials are skeptical of intervention in Syria, pissed off by wiretapping and drone striking of American citizens, and flabbergasted by the inability of the government to build a simple website for Obamacare, let alone making sure we are not suffocated under a mountain of debt. We have grown up online, and as digital natives we know that regulating the Internet is a bad idea. The idea that the state is at the heart of many of the greatest problems facing our society is not very groundbreaking to us.

When this message breaks through, the Tea Party can win young voters. Last November in Virginia, Tea Party aligned gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli lost his race by three points. However, in that same election he won voters aged 18-24, 45%-39%. His opponent was a corrupt businessman whose projects were financed by his political connections rather than real investment, and college-aged voters rejected him in favor of the Tea Party candidate.

The lesson is simple: the core message of the Tea Party is not the problem. Our challenge is to get our core message in front of young people instead of the straw man that the left and the media use to describe our values to millennials.

I am not interested in rehashing the gay marriage debate for the thousandth time. I want to talk about free markets, fiscal responsibility, and constitutionally limited government. Young people are ready to talk about those issues:  Internet freedom, the national debt, Obamacare, foreign intervention, and the NSA, among others.

It is our fault we do not have that conversation. We assume that the youth are a lost cause and that they are liberal and Democrat, so we let the media and the left tell their story instead of ours. But if we never reach out, millennials will never hear our side of the story.

We should take a page from the Cuccinelli campaign instead. His campaign, with the help of the national Conservative Leadership PAC, hired three youth coordinators to work on the ground sharing the campaign’s message to young people. They identified students on campus who already agreed with our message and got them to the polls while working to persuade those who were undecided to support Cuccinelli. The results speak for themselves.

In general, we have not done this in Minnesota. We just let the left do it instead.  Groups like MPIRG (the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group) hire canvassers to crisscross the state every summer and fall to knock on doors and share their liberal talking points. In 2012, the “No” campaign on the marriage amendment went door to door on campuses across the state to identify and mobilize young people, and those of us on the right were completely outgunned. We never got to talk about our core message of free markets, fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government.

We cannot continue to let that happen. It is time to stop ceding the intellectual high ground to the left and start engaging young people. If we bother to have a conversation with young voters, they might just listen.”

Danny Surman is the founder and Chairman of the Youth Leadership PAC.

New Young Voter Focused PAC in Minnesota

via Nicollet County Republicans on 07/19/2013 – 19:17

“A newly formed PAC in Minnesota, the Youth Leadership PAC, focuses on young voters, an important demographic for Republicans to win a greater share of in future elections. Their mission, as quoted from their website: “The Youth Leadership PAC (YLPAC) is a state political fund dedicated to electing Republican candidates by mobilizing young voters and activists across Minnesota through direct voter contact.”

On Saturday evening, July 27, YLPAC is hosting a kickoff event at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill in St. Paul. Republican gubernatorial candidates Scott Honour, a businessman from Orono and Lakeville State Senator Dave Thompson are guest speakers. 2012 U.S. Senate nominee Kurt Bills will also be there. Other speakers may be announced.

Full kickoff event details are available here:https://www.facebook.com/events/313184638817125/?ref=22
Youth Leadership PAC official website: http://ylpac.org/

*The Youth Leadership PAC and their kickoff event is not officially sponsored or endorsed by the Nicollet County Republicans, but you may find it of interest.*”

Announcing the Youth Leadership PAC

A new political action committee, the Youth Leadership PAC, aims to help Republican candidates across Minnesota make gains with 18-29 year-old voters.

“Too often Republican campaigns assume young people will automatically vote Democrat,” said Daniel Surman, Chair of the Youth Leadership PAC. “That simply is not true. If we start having the conversations with young voters, Republican candidates will win their votes.”

“If we do not bother to engage with young people, then we should not be shocked when they vote for Democrats,” Surman added.

Surman, a rising senior at Macalester College, previously served as the campaign manager for Andrew Ojeda, a state House candidate in Saint Paul in 2012. Ojeda’s campaign targeted college students at both Macalester College and the University of Saint Thomas, over-performing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by 5% in both precincts.

The Youth Leadership PAC is organized under a Board of Directors. Members of the Board include Adam Motzko, Chair of the Minnesota Young Americans for Liberty; Tim Bertram, former Youth Director for Kurt Bills for US Senate; Kate Engstrom, Chair of the Clay County BPOU; and Sam Larson, BPOU Chair in house district 38A (Lino Lakes). A full list of the Board of Directors may be found on the Youth Leadership PAC’s website.

The Youth Leadership PAC will hold a formal kickoff event on July 27th at O’Gara’s from 6:30 – 8:30 PM. The event will be open to the public, and attendees may pre-register at a discounted rate.


Kickoff Event - July 27

The official kickoff event of the Youth Leadership PAC will take place on July 27th at O’Gara’s Bar and Grill, 164 Snelling Ave N in St Paul. Doors open at 6:00 PM, with the  program from 6:30 – 8:15 PM.

The event is open to the public. Recommended donation for students is $5.00 with pre-registration or $10.o0 at the door. Recommended donation for other attendees is $15.00 with pre-registration or $20.00 at the door.

Details will be announced in a future media advisory.