As the Democratsâ€™ plans for their 2012 convention in Charlotte run into trouble, so too have Obamaâ€™s chances of holding the stateâ€™s fifteen electoral votes this November.
No group was more central to Obamaâ€™s success in North Carolina in 2008 than young voters, who broke for the president by a wide margin (74-26). However, even a 2 percent increase in ballot share for Republicans among young voters is enough to tip the state Republican this fall.
â€œAcross the country, picking up even a small amount of ballot share among young voters will have a huge payoff for Republican candidates,â€ said Kristen Soltis, communications advisor for Crossroads Generation. â€œNorth Carolina is a prime example where even a slight gain among young voters can tip the scales.â€
Young people in North Carolina are facing particularly tough times. The stateâ€™s unemployment rate hit 9% in January 2009 and hasnâ€™t gone below that number since Obamaâ€™s inauguration. In 2011, some 19.6% of North Carolinians aged 20-24 were unemployed, as were a staggering 32% of those 16-19.
â€œWe are focused on making gains with voters in key swing states like North Carolina in order to help put Republican candidates over the top,â€ said Derek Flowers, executive director of Crossroads Generation. â€œYoung voters facing a dismal economy are looking for something better.â€