JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A new poll suggests that the youth vote may support more economic freedom, swinging younger voters into the Mitt Romney column.
University of North Florida students Heather Brown and Zachary Brasili don't agree on who is best for the White House. Brown is backing President Barack Obama.
"I have a son with special needs and the healthcare is a major component of that," said Brown.
Brasili supports Mitt Romney. "They say Romney's got this plan to create thousands of jobs for people. You know, we're in college right now but when we go out there, we're going to need a job too," said Brown.
But the two history majors do agree on one thing; the youth vote is up for grabs in 2012. President Obama captured 66% of that group in his first bid for the White House. Support for Obama among the 18- to 29-year-old age group has dropped to 52%.
"Honestly, it's really split," said Brown. "I think you have a lot of students that are youth and are getting ready to graduate. They're really worried about the economy."
UNF assistant professor Michael Binder says the issue is waning interest among young voters. Binder says Republicans are gaining ground with the younger crowd, but Democrats still hold the edge.
"Getting them out to the polls on Election Day has really been the motivator and that's where the energy comes and if they show up on Election Day, that'll be great news for Obama."
Record turnout among young voters helped propel Barack Obama into the White House in 2008.