Young Voters Could Affect Presidential Race

October 3, 2012 Updated Oct 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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October 3, 2012 Updated Oct 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y
(WKBW)

As the nation prepares to watch the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, there are questions about how interested young voters are this time around.

In 2008, the young vote was a crucial factor in deciding the presidential election.

At both Canisius College and Buffalo State College, many students say they plan to watch the debates on their own, or as part of a homework assignment.

But political analysts say the excitement young voters had four years ago has faded.

"There is some concern the young voters are not going to turn out like they did because they are concerned about the economy. They are going to college, graduating, and having a hard time finding a job," said Eyewitness News political analyst Bob Davis.

That sentiment was echoed by Canisius College political professor Dr. Kevin Hardwick.

"It is one thing to have a voter say "Yeah, I'd vote for the candidate" it is another thing to get them to actually vote for that candidate . . . go to the polling place and cast their ballot."