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President Barack Obama is heading to the key battleground state of Virginia today, a day after presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney traveled to the state. There’s a reason he’s heading straight for the Virginia Beach area in his first campaign stop in the state: Youth voters.
A new Gallup poll released Friday displays the discouraging news: Young voters are not at all excited to vote in this election. From Gallup, here’s a look at the overwhelming apathy among voters between the ages of 18 and 29. Compared with the national average in 2012 and the youth vote in 2008, the 18-to-29-year-old turnout rate projects to be 20 points lower.
This is obviously a problem overall for Obama, because the youth vote was an overwhelming strength for the president in his 2008 victory over John McCain. But it’s especially significant in Virginia, where 198-to-29-year-olds made up 22 per cent of the vote in 2008 — 5 points higher than the national average. Obama won that vote 60-40.
Obama made history in Virginia by flipping it Democratic for the first time since 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson beat Barry Goldwater. He’ll need an uptick in the 18-to-29 demographic to help him win there again.
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