On a conference call today with reporters, Republican challenger Adam Kinzinger, running against incumbent Debbie Halvorson in Illinois’ 11th District, said that the reason Halvorson has attacked him for his age is because Democrats are losing young people.
“We’ve seen a dramatic shift in the young people, and I think young people by nature are very idealistic, and I think our generation is very idealistic,” Kinzinger said. “Not because we’re naïve and haven’t learned to be negative yet, but because we see things and we say, ‘how can we make it better?’ I think that’s why people went for Barack Obama so hard in 2008. Unfortunately, his vision was followed up with empty actions, and I think the young generation specifically right now feels very let-down. Here’s what it comes down to with Debbie Halvorson – her response was, ‘I’m not attacking his age at all, sometimes people call me young lady.’ But the commercial on Social Security she’s done has been called [by press] the most intense commercial for pitting one generation against another generation they’ve ever seen. The seniors I’ve talked to see the thing and call and ask questions, and most of them realize it’s just negative campaigning. If you look all around the nation, almost all the polling of young people is on the side of the Republicans, and that’s absolutely vital to secure the vitality of our generation.”
This comes as Quinnipiac releases a poll showing Obama earning only 34 percent of the youth vote in a match-up with a generic Republican, who earns 37 percent. The GOP has the chance to make an argument with huge impact in this election – not just in Illinois, but all over the country. And contrary to the argument that it has to be a liberal argument, Kinzinger says he called for repeal even before it was popular, and got enthusiasm from his “repeal and replace” tour.