For students, it’s all about what’s urgent and immediate. When a state primary was imminent during the year, college student activity would reflect that fact. But otherwise, political causes (and other causes) take a back burner to whatever else is next. An example: When I was at UNC, a Fair Wage sit-in (yes, it really was a sit-in) in the Administration Building was very poorly attended. Why? It was finals time!
(Note to self: Plan campus political activities immediately after midterms.)
This does of course mean that student turnout next Tuesday could depend heavily on what else is happening on any particular campus.
Turnout will be interesting. None of this means students won’t show up to vote next Tuesday. But if anything could snag that effort, I feel like it could be the registration hurdle – the deadline that has already passed. Students have a way of procrastinating when they’re given a “date range” – and then missing the eventual deadline. I haven’t seen stats on how many actually got registered.
And of course, the length of this political season probably doesn’t help too much, either. Students have a way of… moving on.
But we’ll see. In any case, it will be interesting to watch.