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Election interest

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Young voters are not showing the enthusiasm for the 2012 presidential campaign that they did four years ago.

Barack Obama benefited much in 2008 from an army of young adults who helped him to a decisive victory.

This time around, young voters are not so invested in the campaigns, the Pew Research Center found.

Yet the Pew study discovered that the dwindling participation among young people may be greater for those leaning Republican than those planning to vote Democratic.

Moderate Republicans of all ages are not so interested in the election. That should help the president, or at least offset the lack of youthful enthusiasm for his campaign.

African-American voters are not disinterested: they are committed to the president and seeing him through to victory, Pew found.

The Pew survey found that only half of voting-age Americans younger than 30 are certain they are registered to vote. That contrasts sharply with 2008, when 61 percent of that age group were registered and 57 percent in 2004.

While 91 percent of registered voters 65 and older say they definitely plan to vote, only 63 percent of those 18 to 29 say they will. That’s a 9-percentage point decline from 2008.

The intent of older voters to cast their ballots is good for Mitt Romney, who holds an 8 percentage point advantage among older voters, according to recent Gallup Poll data.

Yet other surveys suggest that the Medicare issue is boosting the president in swing states, especially among those old enough to qualify for the program.

Mr. Obama definitely has the edge among young voters — Pew shows the margin is 59 percent for the president to 35 percent for Mr. Romney.

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