During the November 8th GOP presidential debate Vivek Ramaswamy and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley took battled back and forth. While much of the debate was little more than the candidates taking potshots at one another, these two focused more on the other than the other candidates on stage did.
At one point Ramaswamy called out Haley for her attacks on him for using TikTok.
“In the last debate, she actually made fun of me for joining TikTok while her own daughter was actually using the app for a long time, so you might want to take care of your family first.”
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Haley fired back.
“The next generation of Americans are using it,” responded Ramaswamy over a chorus of boos. “And that’s actually the point. You have her supporters propping her up. That’s fine.”
“You’re just scum,” Haley said with a disgusted tone to her voice.
This exchange underscored the main message of Ramaswamy’s campaign; we either need to adapt to reaching young voters now or risk losing them forever. Given the massive popularity of TikTok (despite it being a Chinese-based spy app), it is one of the most impactful ways of reaching the 15-25 demographic.
While a sizeable part of the population is under 18, unlike marketing alcohol or tobacco, it is acceptable to target teens. Getting them involved in politics and ensuring they are educated before they set foot into their first voting booth is crucial. They might not think they care about the status of the world now, but many grow to learn that the voting of their parents did not support their views. Showing them how to cancel out the vote of their parent by voting for themselves is crucial.
Reaching this demographic is something the GOP has historically failed at doing since the 1960s. The free stuff and cute and cuddly policies the liberals waive in front of the faces of young voters don’t come to fruition, but they earn votes. If the GOP can get in there and show them the reality of the situation, and why a conservative voice is in their best interests, we can help stem the flow of young voters going liberal to fit in.