Gone is the cool factor that came with Barack Obama's "hope and change" campaign in 2008, which sent young voters to the polls in huge numbers.
Four years later, with the not-so-sexy topics of the economy and healthcare looming as key issues, political experts are predicting a significant drop in the youth vote.
But many young voters, namely college students, in North Texas still see their vote as important and will take a break from studying to watch tonight's debate between President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
"I want to figure out who is going to do more for the people," said Norrton Rentie, a 22-year-old student at Tarrant County College's Trinity River Campus.
Oct. 9 is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 6 election, and volunteers have been staking out tables at area college campuses with voter registration cards, greeting students with a blunt question: "Do you want to vote?"
Carmel Perez Snyder, associate state director for Outreach AARP Texas, which helps register voters, said youths need to take part in the process because it affects their future. While issues such as Medicare and Social Security may not appear to hit close to home at age 18, these issues will eventually be inherited by this new generation of voters.
"The economy impacts everyone from the young voter to the AARP members," Snyder said. "It's critical to every American."
Here's what some of the young voters are saying:
Jennings, a 20-year-old junior at Texas Wesleyan University, says she'll vote for Obama.
She is a self-described die-hard Democrat from a family of conservatives. Student debt sits among her top concerns.
Jennings, who is majoring in mass communications/advertising/public relations, said she followed last summer's fight between Democrats and Republicans about student loan interest rates.
She worries about her future.
"I have student loans," she said. "I don't know if I'm going to be able to pay off my loans six months after I graduate."
Jennings supports same-sex marriage explaining that this is "a separate-but-equal issue" and is also on board with Obamacare.
"Everyone should have the opportunity to have healthcare," Jennings said.
She can't wait to vote.
"I feel so important voting, even though I am just one voter," Jennings said.
Ramirez, 18, is a freshman at Texas Wesleyan who is studying finance. He said he comes from a "pro-business" family and plans to vote for Romney.
"We believe in the free enterprise system," he said.
Ramirez said he believes in standing close to government, but is wary of too much government interference because it can become overbearing.
He likes Romney's views on a smaller government and stimulating the economy.
Ramirez said "the finances of college and finding a stable job" are among top issues for today's young voters.
Young people want to be able to earn a strong income when they graduate from college, he said.
Ramirez, who may vote early, said he believes his voice matters.
"I think every vote counts -- even mine," Ramirez said.
Peoples, a 19-year-old Tarrant County College student majoring in computer science/engineering, recently registered to vote.
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