Answer Bernie’s call, vote for 6th Congressional District candidate Geoff Young

Patrick Brennan, Assistant Opinions Editor

Patrick Brennan

Millennials can name movie stars and celebrities, but when it comes to political figures – unless they also serve as reality TV show hosts – we are at a loss for words. Democratic congressional candidate Geoff Young is especially disenfranchised by this problem; Young needs the support of students, who would likely support him if only they knew who he was.

Young is running for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, which includes Lexington and some surrounding counties.

The Kentucky Kernel editorial board recently met with Young to discuss his plans for representing Kentucky. Young is liberal, and he is probably better described as a “Sanders-crat” rather than a Democrat.

“I’m a Bernie Sanders Democrat,” Young said. “Bernie Sanders basically expresses my whole domestic platform better than I could.”

Although youth voters are generally thought of as liberal, UK is an exception. A campus-wide poll of 894 students conducted by the Kentucky Kernel from Feb. 24 to Mar. 2 found that campus is evenly split among liberals, moderates and conservatives.

However, students at UK overwhelmingly support Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over any other candidate, and about 86 percent of registered Democrats preferred Sanders in the poll.

The numbers alone show that UK students could make a strong impact in this election, but they probably won’t because of voting percentages.

In the 2014 6th Congressional District Democratic primary, 3,333 people age 17-24 voted. Now, UK makes up less than 0.04 percent of this district by area and hosts an estimated 4,600 undergraduates who are registered Democrat and support Sanders.

If Young could get these students to the polls, he would likely sweep the youth vote and be in a better position to take the primary. However, it seems that a majority of students at UK have never heard of Young.

Kaitlyn Marsh, an elementary education freshman, is registered in the 6th Congressional District. Marsh had not yet heard about Young.

“I only see presidential stuff, not anything outside of that, and then I only see Bernie (Sanders), Trump and Hillary (Clinton). That’s the only ones that are on TV … kids my age don’t know about other politicians,” Marsh said.

STEM education and mathematics major Andrew Stewart is from Georgetown, which is located in the 6th Congressional District. He also did not know about Young, and he thought his peers did not either.

“Some people have the view that (the primary) is not as important as the presidential election,” Stewart said.

When Bernie Sanders called for a political revolution, many Americans agreed and gave him their support. Will Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District answer this call?

Patrick Brennan is the assistant opinions editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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