Youth Vote Won't Return for Obama in 2012

Young voters who brought Obama over the top in 2008 may not return next year.

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A report released by the Center for the American Electorate Wednesday highlighted that voters under 30 will turn out in much smaller numbers.

Curtis Gans, the director of the Washington-based center, said that the hope President Obama inspired among young voters in 2008 has dissipated in the last three years. "Because Obama the president did not fulfill the hope invested in Obama the candidate, there has been an enormous sense of disappointment among those young who had been previously politically active, and the current crop of college-resident young do not have the same compelling motivation to engage as those who preceded them," Gans wrote in the report.

He also wrote that Obama's Latino support will dip, while the only part of his base that will barely decrease is among the black population.

Forty-nine percent of Millennial voters approve of Obama, according to the Pew Research Center, down 23 points from February 2009. Only 17 percent of Millennials said that they are following election news closely, while just 13 percent said that they've given a lot of thought to the candidates, a 15-point drop from the same period four years ago.

"They're still very supportive of the president in the head-to-head matchup in a test race with Mitt Romney," said Pew Research Center researcher Carroll Dougherty to ABC News. "Very supportive -- almost supportive as they were of Obama in 2008."

Entering 2012, the enthusiasm gap for Democrats has to be worrisome. We expect much lower voter turnout as a whole for this 2012 election but still predict an Obama victory because we believe that the economy will improve, and Americans will be more comfortable keeping Obama in office than changing course with an unproven and erratic Republican Party.

Read more at ABC News.

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