President Barack Obama is telling young voters they must not become discouraged and let Republicans retake control of the federal government in the Nov. 2 elections.
Obama told thousands of students at the University of Wisconsin on Tuesday, "you've got to stick with me, you can't lose heart."
Obama said the biggest mistake they could make would be to become apathetic and decide not to vote.
He said, "change is going to come for this generation if we work for it, if we fight for it, if we believe in it."
Local police said 26,500 people were at the rally, and the speech was and seen at watching parties at more than 100 college campuses.
This event at the University of Wisconsin is only the second political rally Mr. Obama has done this year that is not a fund-raiser. The first was for Democrat Senate candidate Martha Coakley on Jan. 17, 2010, in Boston. .
Mr. Obama surprised the football, volleyball and girls' tennis teams at LaFollette High School in Madison, Wis., by visiting their practice fields Tuesday. Students squealed in delight and jockeyed to shake the president's hand.
White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama urged the football
players to work hard in sports and school and to avoid the types of
mental errors that caused the Green Bay Packers to lose Monday to
his favorite team, the Chicago Bears.
Earlier in Albuquerque, N.M., Obama surprised the lunch crowd at Barela's Coffee House. He ordered a meal to go, leaving a $20 bill for the $8.77 tab. He planned to spend the night in Des Moines, Iowa.