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Youth vote decided 2012 presidential election

While President Obama won the youth vote as a whole, and therefore the entire election, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney actually captured one section of the youth vote: non-Hispanic whites.

The Pew Research Center for People and the Press released a new youth vote study on Monday, revealing that President Obama won the election thanks mostly to the youth vote, and specifically to his overwhelming margins of victory with black and Hispanic youth.

Obama captured 60 percent of 18-29-year-olds, down from 66 percent during the 2008 election. But Romney, who captured only 36 percent of the 18-29 demographic, won 50 percent of the 30+ voters, compared to Obama’s 48 percent. In 2008, Obama captured 50 percent of the 30+ crowd, compared to Sen. John McCain’s 49 percent.

Not all hope is lost for the GOP, however. Despite the fact that Obama won the white youth vote in 2008, he lost it during his 2012 reelection campaign. Obama also lost ground in male and independent youth voters, but still won the majority in Hispanic and black youth votes, with 74 and 91 percent respectively.

But since youth voters turned out more this year than in 2008, their voices had a larger impact on the election outcome. Swing states Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania were won by Obama thanks to the youth vote. He captured a majority of the youth vote in each state, but fewer than half of the 30+ voters.

And while the GOP still hangs on to the white youth vote, a larger portion of the youth vote consisted of non-white individuals in 2012 than in 2008. Plus, the Hispanic electorate set to double by 2030. The GOP had a failed youth game plan in 2012, but they can’t make the same mistake in 2016.

It’s time for Republicans to get a grip, get on Facebook and get hold of young people’s attention.