Reality bites, and the reality of President Obama's big government, big spending politics are negatively affecting young voters as they graduate from college with massive debt and grim job opportunities.
You may remember these ads from the College Republican National Committee:
Now College Republicans, are ramping up efforts to seize the opportunity to gain youth voters as high unemployment rates continue and as President Obama pushes forward with his tax hikes on job creators, job creators young people need to be their boss.
Recent polls, which show that young voters' support for the president is waning. It's true even on campuses like Northwestern, one of many where Obamamania began to take hold four years ago, when young voters supported the president by a 2-1 margin.
"I don't really think he can make a difference now," says Charlotte Frei, a 24-year-old doctoral student at Northwestern who's studying transportation engineering. She voted for the president in 2008 and will probably do so again, though she's not very enthusiastic about it.
Others worry that apathy could cause a lot of young voters to sit this one out.
"It's unfortunate _ but I think the last election was an exception," says Aubrey Blanche, a senior at Northwestern. She soon will graduate with a degree in journalism and political science. Like many others, she has "no idea" where she'll get a job.
Young Republicans see an opportunity.
Even at the University of Chicago, a short walk from the Obamas' home in Hyde Park, members of the small local chapter of College Republicans are feeling empowered to engage students in conversation as the fall term begins.
"The jobs issue is a major accelerant," says Jacob Rabinowitz, a sophomore who is the group's vice president.
In a recruiting video, Zach Howell, the outgoing chairman of the national College Republican group, says his party offers "real change" and "hope," playing off the themes of Obama's last campaign.
The group's ads are edgy and catchy _ and a good start, says political scientist Richard Niemi.
"Throwing back a candidate's words at him or her is a tried-and-true method," says Niemi, a professor at the University of Rochester in New York.
I discussed this very issue on Fox and Friends in August: