According to preliminary data from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, only one percent of eligible voters under the age of 30 turned out for Saturday's Nevada caucuses, compared to the five percent that participated in 2008. Ron Paul once again won the youth vote, with 41 percent, but just barely.
“These very low numbers raise questions about whether Ron Paul can compete in big-state primaries and whether Mitt Romney can draw significant youth support,” said CIRCLE director Peter Levine. “The McCain/Palin campaign performed poorly among young people in 2008, and Mitt Romney has an opportunity to improve, but so far, the primary and caucus turnout rates provide no evidence that he has connected with young people.”
Nobody expects young voters to turn out nearly as enthusiastically for President Obama in 2012 as they did in 2008, but they sure as hell aren't flocking to the alternative.