This story is courtesy of our media partner, Fostoria Focus
By Alex Boroff
Among young voters, Barack Obama is still the presidential candidate of choice. But Ross Hemminger, a recent St. Wendelin grad, wants his peers to know that many young voters also support Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
Hemminger, who recently volunteered at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., is also doing some work for Future Leaders for McCain, an organization for young voters who support the Republican ticket for the upcoming presidential election.
"I think it's really important that we let the country know that young people do support McCain, that Obama does not have 100 percent young people supporting him," Hemminger said.
According to the most recent Gallup figures, 55 percent of voters ages 18-29 support Barack Obama, while only 40 percent of voters in the same age bracket support John McCain. Though young McCain supporters are in the minority, Hemminger wants them to know they're not alone.
Hemminger, a decided Republican, was energized to join Future Leaders for McCain after attending the Republican National Convention, which took place Sept. 1-4 in Minnesota. Hemminger traveled to Minnesota with a group of fellow young Republicans, and put up his own money to stay and volunteer at the convention.
"It was definitely worth it," Hemminger said.
While at the convention, Hemminger had a chance to meet with political figures such as Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He also met television media personalities Bill O'Reilly and Greta Van Susteren.
For Hemminger, the biggest buzz among convention attendees concerned McCain's choice for vice presidential candidate: Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska.
"I think it shocked pretty much everybody," Hemminger said.
However, Hemminger said he had been following Sarah Palin since she ran for governor of Alaska in 2006, and was not too surprised that she was named as the vice presidential candidate.
"I knew he was going to go with someone less well-known, someone who had pretty much the same reputation in Washington or in their home state, which is one of a maverick and someone who definitely doesn't go with the flow," Hemminger said.
Though Hemminger will soon leave for basic training for the Naval Reserves, he wanted to do as much as he could to help Future Leaders for McCain drum up young support in Ohio.
"I think it's important for other young people to know it's okay to support McCain," Hemminger said. "I'm doing what I can by trying to get the word out that there are organizations that young people can go to to support McCain."