Greensboro - In 2008, President Obama carried the state of North Carolina in large part because of young voters. Nearly 70% of voters aged 18-25 who voted in the 2008 General Election voted for the President.
But since 2008, although North Carolina saw a net gain of nearly 100,000 registered voters, among youth registrants, there was a loss of nearly 50,000 voters. And of these young voters that are no longer registered, nearly 80% of them were registered democrats. This, according to a new study from Tufts University.
And since President Obama won North Carolina by only 14,000 votes, this loss of 50,000 registered democrats could mean the difference in who wins the Presidency.
News 2's Patrick Phillippi spoke with several young voters at Green Bean Coffee in downtown Greensboro, and for many, the situation today is very different from what elected President Obama over three years ago.
First-time voter Khade Nikouyeh, 18, says, "Things are different now that I'm paying for things on my own and I have a job. Understanding economic issues and stuff like that is important."
Nikouyeh is currently undecided as to who she will vote for in 2012.
For Taylor Scisco, 24, a very different story than Nikouyeh. Scisco voted for President Obama in 2008 and is eager to vote for him again in 2012. But, for Scisco, even he admits times are tough, saying, "I voted in 2008 and in 2009 I graduated from college into the worst job market since 1985 I think."
Scisco says the reason there haven't been as many young voters registering this year may be because of impatience with the speed of change they were promised in 2008. "We all came out and voted in 2008, and expected by now we'd have gay marriage, and be out of Iraq, and have jobs."
So what will it take for young people to vote in November? For Grace Anderson, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, she says, "I really have no idea. I think it is important to vote but when I have a friend who doesn't, it is always really hard to convince them to vote."
Scisco, though, says there are two types of young voters, "You've got the ones who are still in college and don't have jobs, and don't know how important it is to have job benefits. Once you get out of college, all of a sudden, these things become really important.
WFMY News 2