The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Obama Lobbies for Youth Vote in 2012 Campaign

2 min read

University of Mary Washington President Rick Hurley said on Monday, Oct. 31, that staff of the White House who spoke to the school about Obama’s previous cancelled appearance said they would like to come back to Fredericksburg before next November’s election.

According to USA Today, President Barack Obama is launching his 2012 campaign in an almost identical style as he did in the 2008 election.

The campaign, called “Greater Together,” will focus on gaining the younger generation’s vote. Using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the Greater Together program will be reaching out to college campuses in key battleground states, such as Ohio University, Penn State, and now possibly the University Mary Washington.

On Oct. 7, the Free Lance-Star published a report from the Associated Press (AP) that said the White House was in discussions with UMW to visit the university on his bus tour on Oct. 19.

The Free Lance-Star then reported on Oct. 11 that White House officials had announced that morning “that no imminent visit to Fredericksburg is planned by President Obama.”

UMW Senior Rachel Grossman said, “I was mad he came before I went to this school, but I’m glad he’s coming back.”

Sophomore Annika Lewis is also happy to hear that Obama is planning on returning to UMW.

“It’s good to have both sides, since we had Karl Rove here,” Lewis said. “It doesn’t matter if you agree with them, it’s great they have the opportunity to come.”

Obama’s Campaign Manager Jim Messina said in a recent interview with the AP, “The president has traditionally done very well with young voters. And there are several million voters who weren’t old enough to vote in the last election.”

USA Today reported that, Obama’s success with young voters has dropped since the economic crisis that has left them at a higher rate of unemployment,14.7 percent for 20 to 24-year-olds and 23.3 percent of unemployment for 18 to 19-year-olds.

During the election of 2008, 66 percent of voters under 30 supported Obama. Last month, his approval rating for the age group dropped below 50 percent, according to a Gallup poll.

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