How the Media Is Totally Failing Young Voters

September 20th 2015

The primary candidates in both of the GOP debates faced backlash for not pivoting to issues surrounding student debt. However, many on social media were quick to also criticize both Fox and CNN moderators for not posing the questions around this topic, which Pew polls have found to rank highest for young voters.

Last week's second round of Republican debates saw a number of hot-button issues tossed around among the primary candidates—including talks with Russia, overturning the Iran nuclear deal, curbing illegal immigration, and defunding Planned Parenthood, among other things. But after nearly three hours of contentious debate among the top polling candidates, issues important to young voters—namely student debt and college affordability—remained virtually untouched by both the candidates and CNN's moderators, ATTN: reported.

Of the top 11 candidates at the Reagan library Wednesday—which included businessman Donald Trump, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich—only Cruz mentioned soaring student debt in passing as he made a point about increasing job availability by cutting taxes.

The absence of any discussion surrounding college costs Wednesday was in line with the previous Republican debate, hosted by Fox News in August, and during which college affordability only came up when Rubio mentioned his own experience with student debt in response to comments made by Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

Student loan debt has ballooned in recent years to staggering levels: the average balance per person is around $30,000, with the national sum total estimated at about $1.2 trillion. Even more alarming, defaulting on federal student loans is becoming a greater risk for students, a report released last week by the Government Accountability Office found. Most surprisingly, even with those statistics—not to mention how highly young people hold the issue when it comes to voting—college affordability and student loans have not seemed worthy enough issues for prime time debating, for both candidates and moderators.

For more information on why we're facing a student debt crisis, check out ATTN:'s video:

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