Like everyone competing to win, young elected officials need voters; since newly enfranchised young people have been far less likely to vote than senior citizens, YELs are more likely to allot time to capturing the likely voters than to captivating the likely nonvoters.
Still, as good citizens with a sense of civic responsibility, YELs wouldn't at all mind getting involved in attracting other young people to join them in the electoral arena.
Many YELs who claimed their parents were uninterested in politics still believed that parental attitudes were important.
As with older elected officials, the party affiliations of YELs served as good predictors of their policy perspectives.
As expected, a large majority of Democrats thought that "government should do more to solve problems," while an even larger majority of Republicans asserted that "government does too many things better left to businesses and individuals." Asked whether the private sector, if left alone except for essential regulations, can find ways to solve our economic problems, Republican YELs expressed overwhelming agreement (93 percent) while Democratic YELs were more ambivalent (40 percent agree, while 58 percent disagree).
Discussing the importance of idealism in politics, YELs displayed mixed feelings.
YELs emphasized the daunting task of establishing credibility.
YELs saw themselves as well prepared and knowledgeable, but recognized the need for advice and support.
In identifying problems with older colleagues, YELs listed:
Female YELs encountered dual prejudices from older colleagues--doubted and dismissed because of their youth, they were also women in "a man's world." Male YELs often felt wrongly viewed as consumed by ambition, looking toward seeking higher office rather than attending to their current offices.