Young voters who voted in the recent election said that “moral values” were the most important issue confronting the country, ahead of terrorism, the drinking age and school uniforms. But new exit polling data has turned up another surprising finding: among these young values voters, a whopping 74% said that Britney Spears, now known by her married name, Britney Federline, best represented their ethics and ideals, compared with a scant 13% for rival singer Christina Aguilera.
Analysts credit ‘the Federline factor’
By Deanna Swift
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Forget George W. Bush. Culture watchers are saying that the big winner in the recent election is red-state songstress Britney Spears. And like the President, Ms. Spears, who now goes by her married name, Britney Federline, may have been ‘misunderestimated.’
Just months ago, the media elite were lampooning the Louisiana- born chanteuse for telling CNN’s Tucker Carlson that “I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.” Spears’ remarks even caught the ire of controversial film-maker Michael Moore. But with new youth voting data indicating a sharp up-tick of support for Mrs. Federline, liberal critics appear to have been caught on the wrong side of a trend yet again.
Young Values Voters
According to new data released by Youth Observed!, Inc., a teen trend-watching firm based in Northbrook, IL, 22% of voters under thirty said that “moral values” were the most important issue confronting the country, ahead of terrorism, the drinking age and school uniforms. Among these young values voters, says YO! analyst Samantha Triphorn, a whopping 74% said that Britney Federline best represented their ethics and ideals, compared with a scant 13% for rival singer Christina Aguilera. “We were certainly surprised that these voters broke so decisively for Britney,” says Triphorn. “None of our early polls predicted this outcome at all.”
Young voters who participated in exit polls said that it was Mrs. Federline’s decision to wed back in September that gave them a more positive view of the singer. First-time voter Cassie McKeon of Fort Worth, TX said that she was struck at how at peace Mrs. Federline sounded in a letter to fans penned just weeks after the wedding. “She said that she’d finally learned to say ‘no,’ and that had given her a newfound freedom.”
Most important to McKeon and the estimated 1.5 million teens who circulated Mrs. Federline’s letter: her eagerness to begin a family. “Being married is GREAT and I can’t wait to start my family!” wrote the singer in a diary entry dated 10/15. “There is so much change going on right now…not only with me, but in the world, as well. So, the next time you see my face, hear one of my songs or even if I’m the topic of your next conversation, please remember that times are changing and so am I.”
While media critics have expressed surprise at Mrs. Federline’s soaring approval among young values voters, they say they’re stunned at the negative ratings accorded singer Christina Aguilera, known in the pop world as X-Tina. When asked to choose which singer was more “Godly,” only 16% selected Aguilera. A full 82% of respondents also described Aguilera as “dirty.”
Triphorn acknowledges that the latter description may be less revealing than it appears. One of the hits from Aguilera’s most recent album, “Stripped,” was also called “Dirrty,” notes Triphorn. “It’s possible that there’s a bit of false identification at work here. But I don’t think there’s any mistaking the movement on the ground. Young people who value faith and tradition overwhelmingly prefer Mrs. Federline to Christina Aguilera.”
At least one young voter who’d previously been undecided about which singer she preferred, was able to pinpoint the exact moment that her sympathies began to swing from Aguilera to Federline. “I saw the voting special on MTV where Christina was interviewing kids from Silver Ring,” says Ames, IA resident Ashlee Turlihee, referring to an MTV election special in which Aguilera returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA and interviewed, among others, members of the teen abstinence group, Silver Ring. “I was like really offended by how in your face Christina was about her sexual experience to kids who’ve pledged to stay sex free,” says Turlihee. “That really changed the way I think about her.”
Just how permanent will be the shift in attitudes among these young values voters depends largely on Mrs. Federline’s own willingness to embrace her new status as a values role model. So far, it seems like a mandate she’s more than willing to accept. “As I said earlier, my priorities have changed and I am going to be focusing on three main areas of my life for the immediate future. Myself, my husband, Kevin and starting a family.”
Deanna Swift can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org