Young American voters, who turned out in record numbers to support President Barack Obama in 2008, are much less inspired to turn out this election year, a new Gallup poll shows.
With other polls showing the majority of young voters still intending to vote for Obama, this fall in turnout could effect the president's bid for re-election.
"With Obama maintaining just a slight advantage over Mitt Romney in registered voters' presidential preferences, the election result could be decided by turnout," a Gallup poll released Friday stated.
"The challenge for Obama is that many of his strongest support groups, including young adults...have historically turned out to vote at lower rates than other subgroups. So maintaining a relatively high level of turnout among these groups is a key to Obama's winning a second term."
A Pew Research Center poll released Thursday shows a majority of youth (61 percent) are intending to vote for Obama in the general election. Romney only garners 37 percent of this vital group.
This is about on par with the breakdown in youth votes the president received in 2008 (61 percent to Republican candidate John McCain's 39 percent).
But if youth indeed come out in low numbers, the group may not be as helpful to the president as in 2008. During the last election, 78 percent of voters between 18 and 29 years old said they would vote. This year, the Gallup poll showed on 58 percent of that same group was intending to vote.
Although youth voters tend to decide closer to national elections whether they will vote, the likelihood for levels to jump by the current 20 point gap are extremely unlikely.
by RTT Staff Writer
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