While it is still far too early to forecast exactly the percentage of millennials who will vote this November, there is plenty of data to suggest that this year young people express less interest and enthusiasm in voting than their elders.
In any report about young voters and the 2012 election, you may have stumbled upon a few of these descriptions: "disengaged," "unenthusiastic," "disillusioned." Speaking on behalf of students across the country: it's a fair critique.
Mr. President, you are my Kennedy, my Reagan. It was you who made me interested in the political discourse, and what our government is doing. It was you who made me register to vote the first chance I could, even though it was not an election year.
There has been an awful lot of conversation this election cycle about "the youth vote." All of these questions miss the real problem at hand: what if young people just don't show up? Even worse -- what if it's our fault?
This cohort is more comfortable with racial diversity, it is more supportive of gay rights, and it is supportive of women's reproductive rights. Why are young voters proving to be so different from other generations of Americans?
What we're facing is not just one legislator's so-called concern about voter fraud, but a very coordinated effort to turn our democracy from one that belongs to the people into one that is controlled by corporate interests.
The bigger question for the campaigns is not whether or not young voters will turn out but for whom they will turn out. And while young voters may be frustrated and disappointed, neither side should expect young people to stay home this November.
Stories of dramatic shifts in voter behavior from one election to the next make for exciting news copy. But claims about large swings in voter attitudes should generally be treated skeptically, especially when they are based on very limited evidence.