See the Los Angeles Times, "Young voters' lack of fervor hurting Obama":
BOULDER, Colo. — They turned out in huge numbers and overwhelmingly cast their ballots for Barack Obama, voting not just for a politician but the leader of a cause that seemed both epic and transformational.
But four years later, many young voters — facing high unemployment and diminished dreams — regard the presidential race as a less-than-inspiring choice between two thoroughly conventional candidates.
There is little doubt Obama will again win a majority of the youth vote against Republican Mitt Romney, as Democrats have in all but three presidential elections since 18-year-olds started voting in 1972.
The more important question is whether the turnout matches that of 2008, a factor that could decide the outcome in several battleground states — North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado among them — and ultimately determine who wins the White House on Nov. 6.
Luke DeGregori, a University of Colorado physics student, is typical. The lanky 19-year-old couldn't vote four years ago, but remembers the enthusiasm surrounding Obama's historic candidacy. His parents had a yard sign outside their Denver home and Obama bumper stickers on both their cars. Today, DeGregori, a Democrat, drives one of those cars and keeps the bumper sticker "because I still kind of support Obama."
He is disappointed, though, that the president turned out to be "just another conformist politician."
"Most friends I know are kind of like me," DeGregori said, pausing between decorating classrooms for a campus Halloween party. "They're going to vote for Obama, but it's not an enthusiastic vote. It's just we prefer Obama over Romney.