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MTV correspondent: Dems need to bridge the gap

Yago: "I don't think anybody made that particular big splash."

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• The Candidates: Bush | Kerry
America Votes 2004
Democratic Party
Paula Zahn

MTV Correspondent Gideon Yago gauges the Rock the Vote performances with CNN Anchor Paula Zahn. (Dems face off)

Zahn: Just give us your radar on the reaction to these candidates this evening.

Yago: This is really intimidating, because I've got Senator Kerry standing right here, but... I don't think anybody made that particular big splash that you would need to really galvanize and excite the young audience.

You know, the key issues that we've always found have been jobs and Iraq. And I don't think the candidates brought that home enough, and in a language that the audience could understand.

As for the pander factor, OK, I guess, but, I mean, here was an opportunity to really open up dialogue with young voters. And I don't think that they did what they needed to do.

Zahn: So basically, when you look at the numbers of previous elections and how few of these young people go out to vote, you don't think they heard anything tonight that's going to make them run to the polls next year?

Yago: Well, you know, you got to look at it this way. I mean, you've got this generation that's coming of age that is so used to discarding information, turning things off, you know, ignoring it if it doesn't speak immediately to them, that you needed to have a candidate that could bridge that gap and bring it right to them and galvanize them and get them excited.

I don't think that was done tonight. But, you know, the election is still a year away, so, you know, there's time to do it.

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