NBC Nervous Young Voters Won’t Turn Out for Dems

In a report on Tuesday’s Today show about the upcoming midterm elections, NBC News correspondent Jacob Soboroff traveled to California’s Orange County in hopes of finding evidence of a blue wave in the usually reliably red section of the state. However, liberal media hopes were dashed as the reporter discovered that the young voters Democrats were relying on to flip Republican congressional districts were not very motivated.

“Most people think California is as liberal as it gets. But those people have probably not been to Orange County....there are four contiguous Republican-held congressional seats that Democrats are hoping to flip, but they’re going to have their work cut out for them,” Soboroff announced as he began the segment.

 

 

After touting Los Angeles as “one of the more diverse and Democratic” parts of the country, the reporter noted that Orange County to the south was “a very Republican area.” He highlighted how “Democrats are hoping that’s changing.”

Soboroff explained to viewers that “Democrats’ hopes of winning here hinges, at least in part, on turning out people of color and young voters.” He then eagerly touted his destination: “So we headed to the local University of California campus....UC Irvine, there are, I think, 26,000 kids that go to school here. And if the Democrats can get all of them to vote for them, then maybe the Republicans will be in trouble in this district, but I don’t know.”     

Soboroff soon got his answer as he approached the college students and pressed:

Sorry, not to be annoying, but we’re with NBC News and I’m just trying to figure out, is anybody here going to vote in the election on November 6th? Anybody? Anybody? Nobody’s gonna vote? Is anybody gonna vote in the congressional election in November?

Crickets could almost be heard in the background. Some of the potential young voters stared blankly at the reporter, while others were completely uninterested and continued to look down at their phones.

Managing to find one young man who said he was planning to vote in November, Soboroff asked: “What do you care about?” After student responded with, “School,” Soboroff wondered: “I was going to say, you’re not talking about the issues that people talk about on the news all the time, the Russia investigation, the Supreme Court.” The student replied: “I don’t watch that stuff.”

Talking to a young woman on campus, Soboroff posed the question: “Are you gonna vote?” She thoughtfully replied: “I should. We’re like the most unreliable voter demographic. So I should vote to like increase those numbers, you know?” Soboroff declared: “Well, that’s what the Democrats want.” However, he disappointedly observed: “But they can’t count on you guys necessarily?” The woman agreed: “No.”

It was at that point that Soboroff’s connection with the youth of America became frayed, as the student remarked: “Slowly you keep asking these questions, the rest of the people our age are gonna keep going, ‘Oh, man, we better vote. All the old people are telling us to vote now.’” A dejected Soboroff responded: “Oh, am I old?” She confirmed: “Older, sorry.”

Following the taped report, co-host Savannah Guthrie asked: “So you said, obviously, these are reliably Republican districts. I mean, are the Democrats even within striking distance?” Soboroff worried: “Yeah, that’s the thing. So in all of these districts in Orange County, the Democrats could win if young people turn out....Young people do not want to identify with a political party, which means neither of these parties are reaching these kids obviously.”

Guthrie lamented: “Yeah, if they’re counting on young people, that’s not gonna make them feel too good.” Soboroff acknowledged: “They’ve got a lot of work to do, yeah.”

In his coverage of the midterms throughout the year, Soboroff has repeatedly found that voters do not have the same priorities as the liberal media:

NBC’s Soboroff Warns Dems: Don’t Campaign on Issues Hyped by Media

NBC Discovers Midterm Voters Don’t Care About Trump Tweets, Russia

Dem Candidate Complains to MSNBC: Media Too Focused on Russia

That was clearly the case yet again on Tuesday.

Here is a full transcript of the October 9 report:

7:42 AM ET

HODA KOTB: We are back with our ongoing series, The Vote: America’s Future, leading up to the midterms.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: That’s right, voters head to the polls four weeks from today, and Washington’s balance of power hangs in balance. NBC’s Jacob Soboroff has been traveling around the key battleground districts to find out what really matters to voters. And this morning, you’re headed to California.

JACOB SOBOROFF: My home turf, I didn’t have to go very far for this one, I appreciated that. Most people think California is as liberal as it gets. But those people have probably not been to Orange County. Not far from my house in L.A., there are four contiguous Republican-held congressional seats that Democrats are hoping to flip, but they’re going to have their work cut out for them.

Los Angeles, downtown’s Union Station probably isn’t where you’d think to start a quest to find some of the most traditionally Republican territory in America. The biggest county in America is also one of the more diverse and Democratic. But if you take a short train ride south, the politics can seem a world apart.

It used to be that when you’re going from L.A. to Orange County, you cross through what I guess  political pundits would call the “Orange Curtain,” because you’d go from a very Democratic area into a very Republican area. But this year, back in Washington, the Democrats are hoping that’s changing.

So you all live in Orange County?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMEN [ORANGE COUNTY VOTERS]: Yes.

SOBOROFF: If you watch the news, all you hear about is Brett Kavanaugh, right? The guy who’s – what, Gloria?

GLORIA PSZYK [ORANGE COUNTY RESIDENT]: No, that’s all you hear about. So, you know, it’s hard to think about something else when all you hear is about Kavanaugh.

SOBOROFF: Do you think that’s what you’re gonna be thinking about when you go into the polling booth on Election Day?

PSZYK: I hope not.

SOBOROFF: You hope not? What are the things you’d rather be thinking about?

PSZYK: Traffic and pollution.

SOBOROFF: Traffic and pollution. We hopped off the train in Irvine, so, we, like good Californians, could carpool with the rest of our team. Democrats’ hopes of winning here hinges, at least in part, on turning out people of color and young voters. So we headed to the local University of California campus. This is In-n-Out Burger, legendary California institution. And if you want to know what Californians think, this is where you have to come.

What do people care about in Irvine?

ANTOR PAUL [IRVINE RESIDENT]: Myself and a lot of my friends are like minorities, so we’re a lot into like minority rights and stuff.

SOBOROFF: Are there enough of you guys to actually flip the district?

PAUL: I hope so.

SOBOROFF: Bus stop at UC Irvine, there are, I think, 26,000 kids that go to school here. And if the Democrats can get all of them to vote for them, then maybe the Republicans will be in trouble in this district, but I don’t know.

Sorry, not to be annoying, but we’re with NBC News and I’m just trying to figure out, is anybody here going to vote in the election on November 6th? Anybody? Anybody? Nobody’s gonna vote? Is anybody gonna vote in the congressional election in November? You are? Thank you, sir. What do you care about?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN [UC IRVINE STUDENT]: What do I care about? School.

SOBOROFF: School. What about you? I’ll walk with you to the bus stop, you guys getting on this bus?

MAN: Yeah.

SOBOROFF: So if you were going to vote, what is the thing that’s gonna get your vote?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [UC IRVINE STUDENT]: Probably school. The expenses.

SOBOROFF: I was going to say, you’re not talking about the issues that people talk about on the news all the time, the Russia investigation, the Supreme Court.

MAN: I don’t watch that stuff.

SOBOROFF: You don’t watch that stuff?

MAN: No.

SOBOROFF: Are you registered to vote?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN B [UC IRVINE STUDENT]: No, not yet.

SOBOROFF: How old are you?

MAN B: 18.

SOBOROFF: Eighteen, so this could be your first election?  

MAN B: Yeah.

SOBOROFF: And ultimately you could decide whether or not the House of Representatives is Democratic or Republican control. Are you thinking about all that?

MAN B: Not currently. Maybe if I took more time to get, like, informed about, like, what’s going on right now in politics. I assume that the people voting have at least some idea of who they’re voting for.

SOBOROFF: Are you gonna vote?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN B [UC IRVINE STUDENT]: I should. We’re like the most unreliable voter demographic. So I should vote to like increase those numbers, you know?

SOBOROFF: Well, that’s what the Democrats want. But they can’t count on you guys necessarily?

WOMAN B: No.

MAN B: No.  

WOMAN B: Slowly you keep asking these questions, the rest of the people our age are gonna keep going, “Oh, man, we better vote. All the old people are telling us to vote now.”

SOBOROFF: Oh, am I old?

MAN B: No.

WOMAN B: Older, sorry.

SOBOROFF: Dude.

GUTHRIE: Show of hands, is Jacob old?

SOBOROFF: I’m old, I’m getting there.

GUTHRIE: So you said, obviously, these are reliably Republican districts. I mean, are the Democrats even within striking distance?

SOBOROFF: Yeah, that’s the thing. So in all of these districts in Orange County, the Democrats could win if young people turn out. And I was actually talking to the Secretary of State of California yesterday, who told me there’s now automatic voter registration. If you’re 17, you’re registered to vote. But not Democrats, not Republicans are the top party, it’s “Decline to state.” Young people do not want to identify with a political party, which means neither of these parties are reaching these kids obviously.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, if they’re counting on young people, that’s not gonna make them feel too good.
                            
SOBOROFF: They’ve got a lot of work to do, yeah.

CRAIG MELVIN: It’s fascinating look, buddy. Thank you.

GUTHRIE: And you’re not old. We’re old.

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