Teachers, use the first 6:08 of this video for a classroom activity.
With election day only forty days away, President Obama and Governor Romney are reaching out to young voters in swing states. However, with data showing that 40 percent of young people are disappointed with the political system, they may have their work cut out for them.
In 2008, President Obama swept the youth vote, winning Americans ages 18-29 by a two-to-one margin. These young voters helped put him over the edge in many swing states, and were a cornerstone of his victory. However, while Obama is expected to win the youth vote again this year, young voters are not expected to turn out for him in such large numbers this election.
Students in Ohio, a key swing state in 2012, have organized on college campuses to urge their peers to vote on election day. Youth enthusiasm for politics is far below what it was four years ago, and both campaigns are having trouble convincing young people to go to the polls. To get out the vote, both Obama and Romney have appeared on campuses in the state, and Romney has launched mobile apps to pull young voters into his campaign.
College campuses also are home to blocks of undecided voters who are pulled between Romney's promise of jobs after graduation and Obama's record on social issues. According to Peter Levine from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, conversations about social issues are damaging to Romney's campaign because they turn off young voters and distract them from his core economic message.
"On the whole, they are pretty liberal on social issues, and they are also not interested in them as we found from our poll," he explained.
Around 25 percent of Americans are now from the "Millenial Generation", a larger segment of the population than even the baby boomers, meaning that their opinions will be their important in this presidential election, and essential in elections to come.
"The largest segments of undecided voters in America I think will be found on college campuses.
We're seeing more than 10 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds at this point in the campaign are still undecided. So that is a significant number," - John Della Volpe, Harvard Institute of Politics.
1) What is a swing state is?
2) Will you be able to vote in this year's election? If so, do you expect to vote?
3) What is the "Millenial generation"?
1) Do you think it's important for young people to vote?
2) Why do you think young voters are less excited about the election this year than in 2008?
3) Do you think that President Romney having apps for iPods and smart phones will help his campaign among younger generations?
4) Who do you think will win presidency in November?
Lesson Plan: Youth Perspectives Vote 2012: "Listen to Me":
Presidential Candidate Children Play Important Roles :
Lesson Plan: Social Media and Advertising in the 2012 Elections: