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Romney Closing Youth Vote Gap

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Record turnout among youth voters in 2008 was one of several factors helping Barack Obama win the White House. President Obama is expected to win the youth vote again.
The FSU College Republicans are on campus in full force this election season.

The club’s chairman says concerns about jobs after graduation have students leaning toward Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney.

“That’s why everyone is gravitating here. Most of these people are a year or two out from graduating and they want a career when they leave here,” said Chairman Matt Hooper.

Students were singing a different tune in 2008, when 66 percent of voters under 30 voted for Obama. A new poll shows youth support for the president dropping to 52 percent.

The drop in enthusiasm was apparent on FSU’s campus Thursday. A steady stream of students visited the Republican booth, but one table over a less ornate display for Obama went mostly unnoticed. We asked students at the table about the youth vote, but the students weren’t given permission to talk to the media. A mile down the road at FAMU, students were more vocal.

“He needs a little bit more time to change the country. You can ‘t just tell somebody to clean up the mess within four years,” said FAMU Junior Kelly Jackson.

Romney’s Florida Campaign Chairman says the economy has killed enthusiasm for Democrats among college students.

“There’s clearly not the campus movement, the student movement, and I think it’s because they know that their employment opportunities have diminished in the last four years, not grown,” said Chairman Adam Putnam.

Despite the shift, Obama is still expected to win the youth vote, but by a much smaller margin. The poll from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement also says about 10 percent of youth voters still haven’t settled on a presidential candidate.


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