The Stewart Factor

I wonder how important Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher were in this past election. I have a feeling they were critical to alerting the younger generation to the dysfunction in Republican governance. So this press release from Circle is no big surprise to me:

Average young voter turnout among college students in precincts targeted by the Student PIRGs' New Voters Project doubled over the 2002 election, more than six times the national average for young adults, with turnout in some precincts increasing up to five times over 2002, according to an Election Night analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).

While mobilization efforts proved to dramatically increase young voter participation, the national youth vote saw a significant increase as well — especially when compared to the overall population. CIRCLE's analysis of the National Election Poll's exit poll for 18-29 year olds found that turnout among 18-29 year olds increased at least 4 percentage points over 2002 figures, to 24 percent. According to an Associated Press vote count and an analysis by American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate, the overall population saw an increase of less than 1 percentage point.

Now, if every college student makes a decision today to get one other friend registered ...