Lack of youth voter enthusiasm could cost Obama the presidency

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In 2008 the presidential campaign for President Obama was spearheaded by a motivated youth movement all across the nation. The young adult population was inspired by a confident African-American presidential hopeful who promised change. As November’s general election nears, young voters appear to be less enthusiastic and motivated. This could cost Obama re-election. The Huffington Post reports:

At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in the fall of 2008, the spectacle of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign dominated Meghan Gilliland’s sophomore year. Going to the library, traversing the quad, or passing through a campus gathering place known as The Pit entailed running a gauntlet of clipboard-wielding Obama volunteers beseeching students to vote. A surge of enthusiasm among young voters would prove decisive in delivering North Carolina to Obama. Nationally, he would capture two of every three ballots cast by voters under 30, a crucial component of his victory.

Obama inspired Gilliland , and she urged her friends to vote for him. He was vowing to pull troops out of Iraq and close the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. She felt certain he would repeal the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy for gay soldiers, and embrace marriage equality for all gays and lesbians, a major issue among younger voters.

Obama’s ascendance as the nation’s first African American president held special resonance for Gilliland, a white woman who had grown up in a North Carolina town she describes as “pretty redneck.”

“A lot of people still use the N-word there,” she says. “They know it’s wrong, but they still use it.”

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