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Will Kids Make the Debate?

Kids don't vote, but their parents do.
Irwin Redlener, MD Co-Founder and President

They won’t be in a ring, and no punches will be thrown, but the sparring match between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan could shape up to be a heavyweight affair.  After the first presidential debate changed the contour of the race so dramatically, it will definitely be fascinating to see who comes out on top tonight - and how it affects the race overall.

We will certainly be watching - and listening - closely to see if the issue of child poverty makes an appearance.  We’ve been doing everything possible to get this question into the mix.  And it should be there - because the voters want to know about where the candidates stand.

In a nationwide Public Opinion Strategies poll on behalf of First Focus Campaign for Children, 82 percent of American adults say that the candidates’ positions on child well-being will affect their vote and 63 percent say both candidates are not paying enough attention to children’s issues in the campaign.

So it makes political sense.  And it makes sense for America. Children’s Health Fund recently posted a paper charting the lack of progress in addressing child poverty in the U.S. during the past quarter century.  And this failing points to a looming disaster for this nation’s ability to grow, prosper and lead on the world stage.

We can’t repeat it often enough.  More than one in five kids in our great nation live in poverty.   Vice President Biden, Representative Ryan, what would you do in the next four years to put a dent in this unacceptable statistic?

Here’s hoping we see both contenders throw a few punches at one of our most important national issues.