Presidential candidates court youth vote entering final debate - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Presidential candidates court youth vote entering final debate

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

Young voters will be listening closely to both candidates' perspectives on foreign policy in Monday night's debate.

According to Rock the Vote, in 2008 voters between the ages of 18 and 29 more than doubled their turn out compared to the 2004 election. However, turnout for this election cycle is hard to predict.

Students at the University of Richmond say they couldn't be more excited in electing the next president. Meanwhile, a political science professor says the excitement doesn't compare to what he's seen in the past.

"I think it's important to young people like myself because we're really the future leaders," said college senior Antoine Waul.

The University of Richmond student is not only engaged in the upcoming election, he's rallied his classmates to do the same by working with his fraternity to register new voters over the past few months.

"We also had an event just a couple of weeks ago about voter ID laws and how they can affect voter turnout," he said.

Getting out the vote is sentiment that seems to echo throughout the campus. Next month freshman Pierce Rignui will cast a ballot for the first time.  He says he's listening to both candidates intently before making a decision.

"I'm kind of on the fence of who I'm going to vote for. It's a big decision," Rignui said.

The cause even has celebrities encouraging young voters. Bruce Springsteen is set to play at the University of Virginia in support of President Obama Tuesday.

"Some students are excited but students in general are not nearly excited as they were in 2008," says political professor Dan Palazzolo.

He says in 2008 President Obama created a "movement" that inspired young voters. Now, he says the incumbent has a record for voters to compare how well he's done.

Palazzolo adds each candidates' biggest challenge is simply convincing their supporters to get out on election day.

"That's particularly true of young people because they came out in large numbers last time and supported President Obama particularly in the state of Virginia where the population of 18 to 29-year-old voters was actually higher than the population as a whole," he said.

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