Senior administration officials, briefing reporters at the White House on Monday on condition that they not be named and not be quoted directly, acknowledged a drop-off in excitement with young voters and predicted that it would take hard work to build the right organization necessary to bring those supporters out. But they insisted they had always foreseen a tough election and predicted that Obama would still easily win that segment of the electorate.
So off the incumbent goes on a road trip—a taxpayer-funded spin because all of the events are billed as "official" rather than "political"—to three states that are expected to be up for grabs in November's election. The Democrats have made clear how important North Carolina will be this year: It's the site of the party's presidential nominating convention.
Obama's first stop on Tuesday will be the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The White House estimates that 160,000 students in North Carolina could be affected by higher loan interest rates unless Congress acts.
The second will be the University of Colorado at Boulder. The White House says 167,000 students in Colorado could see loan payments jump.
The president will also do a conference call with college and university student journalists—ensuring that his message reaches a national audience of young voters.
On Wednesday, he will visit the University of Iowa and return to Washington.
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