POLITICS

Virginia exits point to lower youth turnout

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Photo - A person votes at George Mason University in Fairfax. (Getty Images)
A person votes at George Mason University in Fairfax. (Getty Images)
Politics,Local,Beltway Confidential,Virginia,Philip Klein

One of the key questions going into today's presidential election was whether young voters would turn out for President Obama in as large numbers as they did in 2008. If the Virginia exit polls are any indication, the answer is no.

This year, voters aged 18 to 29 represented 16 percent of the Virginia electorate, according to the exit polls published by CNN. That's noticeably down from 22 percent in Obama's 2008 victory in Virginia and even slightly lower than the 17 percent when John Kerry lost the state in 2004.

There also appears to be a split between college aged voters and voters in their late 20s. Current Virginia exits show Obama winning 18 to 24 year olds by a 56 percent to 41 percent margin, which is down from the 63 percent to 34 percent margin he carried those voters by in 2008. But among those 25 to 29, Obama won them 63 percent to 36 percent today, according to exits, which is improved from the 56 percent to 44 percent showing he had with the group four years ago.

All of this said, the state is currently a dead heat -- which is in line with what state polls had been predicting. And if state polls are correct in other states, than it would point to an Obama Electoral College victory, even if he loses Virginia by a narrow margin.

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