Youth vote could be decisive in Virginia

Generic - Elections 2012 Obama Romney
Elections 2012

(CBS News) FAIRFAX, Va. - Virginia, the birthplace of eight American presidents, has 13 electoral votes. Polls close in the Commonwealth of Virginia at 7:00 p.m. ET.

At the student center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., one key question in this swing state is who wins the youth vote -- voters under age 35?

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Almost five years ago, George Mason students packed an atrium in a surprise turnout for the then-unknown Sen. Barack Obama. It energized the students for Obama movement and helped him carry Virginia.

But on Monday, Mitt Romney was the rock star on campus. He packed Mason's 5,000 seat basketball arena as several thousand more waited outside.

The Obama campaign says it owns the numbers of young voters. The Romney campaign says it owns young voters' enthusiasm.

The extent to which young voters will either stay in or quit the Obama coalition could be decisive in this razor-thin fight for battleground Virginia.

  • Wyatt Andrews
    Wyatt Andrews

    Wyatt Andrews is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Washington D.C. He is responsible for tracking trends in politics, health care, energy, the environment and foreign affairs.