It's back to school for President Obama and Vice President Biden. Both leaders on Tuesday were slated to take part in rallies on college campuses to win support for Democratic candidates. And if recent surveys are any indication, they have their work cut out for them.
Although voters under 30 were among the key supporters for President Obama in 2008, there is a shift underway that could influence the midterm elections and beyond.
On the Penn State campus where Vice President Biden attended a Moving American Forward rally, Josh Crawford, the chairman of the campus College Republicans Club, said the number of active members doubled this school year from 30 to 60 members. Crawford also said meeting attendance has increased "200 percent."
Hours before the Democratic rally about two dozen students carried signs outside with messages like "Do you know anyone with a stimulus job" and "2012 -- Just Biden our time."
A survey released this month by the non-partisan Rock the Vote organization said 60 percent of Republicans under 30 are likely to vote in the midterm election compared with only 51 percent of young Democrats.
Experts say the statistics shows that young Republican voters are more energized about the upcoming election. Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Hari Sevugan, who attended the Penn State rally, said Democrats still had a strong support among young voters but admitted they had lost traction.
According to College Republicans National Committee spokesman Rob Lockwood, the group is targeting five battle ground states, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio for the midterm elections. Lockwood said his group is mobilized for what he described as Operation Red November with 25 national full time field reps. They have over 200,000 members nationwide have recruited 20,000 new members in those five battleground states.
The College RNC is also launching the group's first TV commercial targeting young voters. The 30-second spot highlights disappointment with the president and is scheduled to air in markets where there are large college audiences.