President Obama visited Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. Tuesday evening as part of his recently increased effort to capture young voters this election.
The president focused his CSU speech on the importance of getting young people to the polls on Nov. 6, telling the crowd, “I believe in you,” after urging college attendees to register themselves and their friends.
“Part of the way we won back in 2008 was [having] a bunch of young people telling their parents how to vote,” he said.
Colorado’s swing state status was also a topic of importance.
“If we win Colorado, we will win this election,” the president announced, met by an uproar from the audience of 13,000.
Fort Collins was not entirely Obama-centric, however. A campaign bus for the recently-announced Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, was parked away from the crowd that had gathered to see the president speak, and attracted its fair share of students and residents.
The American youth is expected to decrease in turnout this election, a troublesome fact for Obama, who attributes his presidency to mobilizing that demographic four years ago.
Obama’s presidential campaign excited young voters in 2008, and he won 66 percent of the American voting population ages 18-29. Studies suggest, however, that neither the president nor Romney have grabbed young voters’ attention this year.
The Obama campaign has courted this age group since before his 2008 run, but has recently stepped up the coverage, launching an entire website for young voters early this week, Young Americans for Obama.
Additionally, the president reached out to 24 U.S. colleges via conference call on Tuesday. Of those universities, 23 are located in swing states: Colorado, Ohio, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Erin Tschudi, a 19-year-old sophomore English major at CU, said that so far she has only been approached by the Obama campaign and thinks the incumbent has done a better job reaching out to her age group.
“Even though he has less funding, he’s more aggressive,” Tschudi said.
On the other hand, CU student Madison Baron, a 17-year-old freshman history major, hasn’t been approached by either campaign this year.
“I feel like neither [candidate] has really affected me much compared to older generations, with the Medicare and health care stuff,” Baron said. “For me, there hasn’t been any big impact.”
President Obama’s appeal to college students comes at a vital time, as the next two weeks will be huge for both candidates. Obama’s reelection campaign announced on Tuesday that Obama and Vice President Biden will embark on a week-long “Road to Charlotte” tour, leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
The Republican National Convention, taking place in Tampa, Fla., began on Monday and ends Thursday, Aug. 30. Colorado Young Americans for Mitt Romney will be hosting a viewing party of the convention Wednesday night in Denver, and the CU Independent’s 2012 election coverage will continue with the RNC.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Alison Noon at Alison.firstname.lastname@example.org.