The closing chapter of the 2012 presidential race will be written in just a handful of states, as the candidates launch a feverish blitz of the battlegrounds that will determine who takes the oath of office come Inauguration Day.
The residents of those states, for two weeks, will be barraged by ads and campaign stops by the candidates and their surrogates. After the final presidential debate — which amounted to the candidates’ last chance to make their pitch before a broad national audience — the campaigns bolted immediately to those battlegrounds.
A Harvard poll found that likely voters 18-t0-29 years of age may still favor Obama over Romney but found that young voters who favor Romney are more likely to vote this election.
In many states, like in Wisconsin, the presidential campaigns put forth great effort to encourage young voter participation in this year’s election despite the waning interest on the part of the 18-24 demographic.
Arthur Levine, author of Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student, said younger people tend to vote more on particular issues and don’t comfortably fit the ideology of either the left or right. College students tend to care about social issues, as well as education or financial aid. They also tend to care about international issues, particularly international human rights issues, even though they can’t name the leaders of many countries, he said.
“However, they’re also really jaded,” Levine said. “They don’t trust government, media, medicine. They don’t trust (anybody).” But that doesn’t mean young people aren’t interested in making their country better: A record proportion of young people are now involved in local service efforts, Levine said.
Chris Portela, 19, said he plans to vote for Romney in November, but he said many of his friends don’t plan to vote this year.
25-year-old Nick Dinunzio tells Becky Vevea of WBEZ.org he’s a registered Republican who voted for Obama in the last election.
“And how do you feel four years later? Four years removed?” I ask.
“I feel like a lot of the things that were told to me during the campaign were, uh, lies,” Dinunzio says. But he’s not disillusioned or disenfranchised, and he’s actually pretty excited to vote. Only this time, it’ll be for someone else.