In 2008, hundreds of college students across the country took time off from school to volunteer for Barack Obama, helping him win the White House. Now, facing graduation and a tough job market, those students probably will vote for him but not volunteer, The New York Times
“We did everything,” University of Nevada student Emma Guerrero told the Times. “We went canvassing. Phone banking. Cleaning the offices. Taking out my bosses’ dry cleaning. Whatever they needed. It was such an amazing time because we all believed and wanted him to get elected.”
Now facing graduation and a job hunt, Guerrero is fearful and can’t imagine finding the time or spirit to volunteer. “I don’t think I could do it anymore,” the Times quotes her as saying. “That campaign was an amazing experience. But I don’t think I’m in the same mind-set anymore. He hasn’t really addressed the young people, and we helped him to get elected.”
Interviews in Nevada and around the country find that, although most of Obama’s college supporters still plan to vote for him, they are not ready to reprise their role as foot soldiers. The Obama campaign acknowledges the shift, but maintains that other, younger college students are stepping up.
“Their brothers and sisters started it, and they are going to finish it,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told the Times. “They are storming into our office. Our volunteer numbers are up from where we thought they would be.”
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