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Prospective caucus targets young Texans

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Amarillo, TX - Young Texans are the focus of a new political movement in Austin trying to keep pace with our changing demographics.

State Representative Eric Johnson of Dallas is working to create the "Young Texans Legislative Caucus."

The stated aim is a bipartisan group targeting issues that affect younger people, like education and natural resources management.

And the youth vote is much sought-after in politics - in this year's presidential election, Barack Obama garnered an estimated 60 percent of voters in the 18-25 age range, a demographic all candidates vie for.

"With any political organization, you're fighting tooth and nail to get that younger vote," said WTAMU Political Society President Aurora Ortiz, "just like the candidates in the presidential election, like with social media, they fought tooth and nail to get that younger voter out to vote."

But 18-25 year-olds are historically much less likely to vote, a trait that is arguably less about apathy than it is about circumstance.

"This is the age of relationships," explained Amarillo College political science professor Brian Farmer. "People are busy chasing one another around, having a good time, and trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives."

"Most of us are in college, most of us don't really have a place, per se, to grow roots," said Ortiz, "and so essentially, we're moving around a lot, haven't found a place to call our own, a community to really have a stake in."

The Young Texans Legislative Caucus would push for legislation serving the interest of younger people.

But even if the group never fully forms, or forms only briefly, pushes like these can help engage and capture the youth vote.

"Both parties are cognizant of how important that youth vote was, so this is a bipartisan thing, and maybe they're just interested in young people."

If you'd like to learn more about the proposed caucus or voting trends in Texas, follow the links attached to this story.

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