Tea Party aims to attract youth vote — though the convention is short on students

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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There aren’t many — if any — young activists here at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

But the Tea Party leaders here want to learn how to attract the youth enthusiasm that helped get President Barack Obama elected in 2008.

Leaders from Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative youth organization founded on the estate of William F. Buckley, addressed the convention’s attendees Friday on how engaging students early is the key to the survival of the movement.

“We have to be there before they start to put propaganda on the high-school campuses,” Jordan Marks of Young Americans for Freedom said in reference to Organizing for America, Obama’s grassroots effort recruiting interns across the country.

“If each of you recruit one young person … that young person will recruit 5 to 10 more in a month,” he said.

Marks told the middle-aged and older attendees that they better embrace Facebook and Twitter too if they want to draw in a younger crowd to their event.