WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — An expected voter backlash against big government in next week’s election isn’t a laughing matter to Democrats — or is it?

Organizers insist that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on the National Mall on Saturday isn’t about politics. But that hasn’t dampened the expectations of thousands of fans and advocacy groups seeking to rekindle some of the voter enthusiasm seen in 2008, particularly among young adults.

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Rally organizer Tammy Smith talks with KNX 1070’s Dick Helton, Jack Popejoy, and Vicky Moore

“This rally is attracting a lot of attention, and it could have an impact because the target demographic of young people who tend to vote Democratic needs more mobilization to vote than do older people,” said Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

A Pew poll last month found 41 percent of Stewart’s fans identify themselves as Democrats, compared with 38 percent independents and 14 percent Republicans. His audience also tends to be younger than for many other cable programs, a key segment since adults 18-29 are half as likely than those 30 and older to vote.

“Any shift in a Democratic or Republican direction coming from a change in the national mood, from whatever outside force, could tip a lot of races because they seem to be so balanced on a razor’s edge at this point,” Keeter said.

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A preliminary list of entertainers includes musicians Sheryl Crow and The Roots. Actor Sam Waterston and Don Novello, who played Father Guido Sarducci on “Saturday Night Live,” are also expected to appear at the main rally in Washington, D.C.

Comedy Central’s park permit puts the crowd estimate at 60,000.

There are plans for satellite rallies in cities including Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, and one here  at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles.


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