Many Augusta area high school students not closely watching GOP presidential nomination race

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Anastasia Whitehouse, a senior at Lakeside High School, is one of two reporters in the first class of The Augusta Chronicle’s High School Reporters Academy, a 12-week program designed to give high school students a taste of what it is like to work as a journalist.

Evans High School Teen Age Republicans meet former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Jan. 17 after the GOP presidential candidate forum at University of South Carolina Aiken. Standing with Gingrich are students Kristen Boykin (from left); Jaron Hasty; Austen Trowell, the chairman of Teen Age Republicans; Gingrich's wife, Callista; Caroline Culbreth, the student club's vice chairwoman; and  Justin Rectenwald.  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Evans High School Teen Age Republicans meet former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Jan. 17 after the GOP presidential candidate forum at University of South Carolina Aiken. Standing with Gingrich are students Kristen Boykin (from left); Jaron Hasty; Austen Trowell, the chairman of Teen Age Republicans; Gingrich's wife, Callista; Caroline Culbreth, the student club's vice chairwoman; and Justin Rectenwald.

Area high school students, even those who will be able to vote this year, haven’t been as caught up in the race for the Republican presidential nomination as some adults.

Even when former House Speak­er Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary Jan. 21, many students didn’t watch on television or follow it on the Internet.

Still, several students have made up their minds about who they would like to see come out on top in Novem­ber.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul is popular, and Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have their youthful supporters. Students who were asked about the GOP contest didn’t mention former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Chris Powers, the faculty sponsor for Evans High School’s Teen Age Repub­li­cans, said most of the students in the program are enthusiastic about the election.

“We played a big role at the presidential forum at USC Aiken on Jan. 17. Gingrich was the only major candidate at the event. The group met him and felt like he paid special attention to them,” Powers said in an e-mail.

Naomi Yates, 18, of Aquinas High School, gives tepid support to Romney even though she doesn’t agree with all of his views. She said she can see him doing a better job “directing the country into recovery from the recession more than President Obama has in the past four years.”

Reflecting his national popularity among younger voters, Paul seems to draw support from high school students. Evan Phillips, 18, a Lakeside High School senior who has been closely watching the race, said he would put his support behind Paul.

“If Paul were the nominee,” Phillips said, “the Repub­licans would truly receive the small government they have been asking for, but I’m not too sure they would be happy in all of its facets, including but not limited to a reduction in the military and the legalization of drugs along with laissez-faire economics.”

A number of students did not have an opinion regarding the election. Some said they had not been paying attention.

“I don’t have any clue about any of the candidates,” said Richard Rees, 18, of Green­brier High School. “It’s not that I don’t care; I should probably just pay more attention.”

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scoobynews
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scoobynews 02/05/12 - 07:45 am
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With little to no government

With little to no government being taught in elementary and middle schools it is not surprising. During a lesson on the difference between a democrat and republican it was amazing to see some change in attitudes in which party they would support. Many of these young people vote based on popularity, race, age, or who their parents support not on the issues at hand. When you ask a school age child why they would vote for a certain candidate they can never give you information to back up why they picked that person. If you were to ask many of the adults that vote the same question you would get the same exact answer - silence.

Conservative Man
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Conservative Man 02/05/12 - 06:44 pm
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I'll bet you the kids who

I'll bet you the kids who know nothing about the candidates know everything there is to know about Snookie....

Sweet son
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Sweet son 02/05/12 - 06:57 pm
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Very sad! I watched a short

Very sad! I watched a short video clip today where "college" students couldn't answer the question 'who is our vice president or even what war gave us our independence.' We baby boomers and in particular schools are giving our children a country and they know little or nothing about it! Heartbreaking! My 86 year old Dad says that the nation is on a slippery slope and I like him believe we are going down and won't recover!

Riverrunner30909
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Riverrunner30909 02/05/12 - 11:53 pm
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This is exactly why people
Unpublished

This is exactly why people shouldnot vote until at least 30 years of age. 1. It is a proven fact that a persons mind is not matured until somewhere be 25 - 30 years of age. 2. Most of the people younger than 30 just do not pay attention to the elections process worthy of being allowed to vote prior to 30 years of age.

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