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PEOPLE: Fans hoping rally boosts activism

Fans hoping rally boosts activism

WASHINGTON — Is it a way to improve the nation’s political discourse? A way to tip some votes just before the election? Or just a big outdoor comedy show?

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.

For many of them, that civic engagement would translate to a boost for Democrats — a calculation President Barack Obama bet on this week when he became the first sitting president to appear on Stewart’s ‘‘The Daily Show’’ on TV’s Comedy Central. Obama said his message was still ‘‘Yes, we can’’ — ‘‘but it’s not going to happen overnight.’’

‘‘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.

Randy Travis, wife divorce

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Randy Travis and his wife-manager Elizabeth Travis have divorced.

Family spokeswoman Maureen O’Connor confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday that the divorce was final. No further details were given, but an earlier statement that the couple had ‘‘parted ways’’ said Elizabeth Travis would continue to be Travis’ personal manager. The statement said the couple would have no further comment and asked for ‘‘respect for their privacy during this time.’’

Neither could be reached for comment.

The couple has had a 34-year business and personal relationship.