Groups work get more youth to vote GOP

Oct. 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Republican youth groups are reaching out to young voters who may be disenchanted with President Obama, asking them to consider Mitt Romney, organizers said.

The organizations, through Web and television ads, campus rallies and social networking, are using high youth unemployment, rising college costs and student loan debt, and the increased percentage of young college graduates still living at home, Roll Call reported Monday.

In 2008, Obama captured 66 percent of voters ages 18 to 29 en route to defeating Sen. John McCain of Arizona for the presidency.

"Romney has a historic opportunity to attract young people," said Ron Meyer, a spokesman for American Majority Action, a conservative non-profit.

"You've got young people who are really disappointed, who are frustrated," said Kristen Soltis, communications adviser to Crossroads Generation, a super PAC that helps mobilize young GOP voters. "That's really opened an opportunity for Republicans to reach young people."

Similarly, the College Republican National Committee started OOMPH! (Out of My Parents' House), a website highlighting youth debt and unemployment data, Roll Call said.

"These organized efforts are much more impressive than they were in '08 on the Republican side," Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, told Roll Call.

Obama officially began his re-election campaign with two college campus rallies in May and has made young voter outreach a key to his campaign.

Obama's favorable rating among young voters remains 16 points higher than Romney's favorability ratings, 58 percent to 42 percent, a Pew Research Center for the People and the Press survey this month indicated. Pew said Obama's October figure was 17 percentage points fewer than September.

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