From the Floor: Young voters, Veterans and Rural Texas

Sep 7, 2012

The Youth Vote:

Women and middle class voters are two demographics the presidential campaigns are targeting this election, but they’re not the only ones. The youth vote is credited with playing a major role in the 2008 elections and is being looked at again as a potential x-factor.

Adam Zelsdorf is a 20 year old banker in Charlotte. He said like a true Independent, he still hasn’t made up his mind who he will vote for. Although his business sense tells him Mitt Romney, his middle-America upbringing says Obama, which is why he’s watching each of the campaigns closely.

"Watching the RNC for me personally was a little bit more exclusive, versus here at the DNC, it’s a little more like we’re going to welcome everyone," said Zelsdorf. "I’m not saying one is better than the other because when it comes down to voting, people have a lot of things they’re going to vote for. There’s a lot of specific subjects they’re going to vote for."

Vice-President Joe Biden and President Obama will deliver their acceptance speeches tonight at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Uptown Charlotte.

Veterans at the DNC:

Some advocates for American military veterans say they are neither Democrat nor Republican. They say their loyalty lies with the troops who have fought wars and come home only to live on the streets, are left hungry, and those who go without proper mental or health care.

Stacey Bridges champions better treatment of troops who are homeless and those suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. She said 18 soldiers die a day from suicide, and that’s just the count from the Army.

Bridges is at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week looking for ways to bring awareness to what soldiers are facing.

“And it actually sickens me when people say we support our troops, yet you have policies that literally cut the throats of our veterans and hurt them in the long-run. That’s why we have so many soldiers committing suicide, and it is an absolute travesty. It’s absolutely treason as far as I’m concerned.”

Bridges said she believes the Democrats are doing slightly better than Republicans when it comes to policies for veterans, but thinks there is still room for improvement.

Ken Salazar on rural Texas:

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar spoke to the Rural Council gathering at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte and said there are many programs and plans in place by President Obama that are making rural America thrive again.

He said some of those efforts include oil and gas development, a conservation strategy - especially for wildlife - and strides in the area of wind energy.

“We are doing great work in terms of making sure that wind energy continues to be huge. Texas is a leader in wind energy. And frankly, if you look at the Romney/Ryan plan, they call renewable energy and wind energy a fad. You tell the people of Texas and all those wind farms where I have been to in Texas and it’s not a fad. It’s real because a huge amount of our energy is now being produced from wind.”

Critics say Salazar's clam that wind energy production has doubled since Obama took office, but the reports from the Energy Information Administration reveal that energy created from solar and wind only increased about four percent in the overall amount of energy produced.