“That could well make them the deciding factor in this election,” says Ian Rowe, MTV's vice president of strategic partnerships. “We’re entering a new era – not only in terms of voting, we’re entering a new millennial presidency – it’s not only that young people turned out in big numbers, but also the way in which they were engaged in the process. There’s a whole new level of transparency and access that Obama as president will utilize to much more engage young people.”
That was evident in the way Obama reacted to his win. He chose first to send an email to supporters thanking them, before heading out to speak in the glare of television klieg lights to the throngs of tens of thousands of cheering - some tearing-up - supporters at Grant Park on Tuesday night.
“I want to be very clear about one thing...” he wrote, in an understated way. “All of this happened because of you. Thank you, Barack.”
Across the board, the economy was the main thing on voters’ minds, whether they were young, African-American or Hispanic, or suburban whites. Six in ten voters said the pocket book issues, including health care, were top on their agendas. That helped Obama cement victory with key independent voters, which he won by a comfortable margin, according to exit polls. It also helped him win suburban voters, who for the last decade had been trending Republican. The majority of women also pulled the lever for the Illinois senator, as did 96 percent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanic voters.