Keeping young voters away from the polls is a winning strategy for Republicans:
The state is divided between older, culturally Southern and conservative voters, and younger, more diverse and more liberal voters, especially around the Research Triangle and Charlotte. In presidential elections, those two groups fight nearly to a draw. In midterm elections, when older voters turn out at much higher rates than younger ones, the Republicans have a big advantage.
When young voters stay home, the state reverts to its Republican past and the more conservative bent of the South. And judging from the last midterm election, the plunge in youth turnout could be huge. Eighteen- to 25-year-olds accounted for a mere 3.9 percent of voters in 2010, down from 10.4 percent of voters in 2008, according to the secretary of state’s office. Older voters jumped from 17.5 to 26.1 percent of those turning out.
One would think the Republicans' recent attacks on college voters would "wake them up" to the importance of mid-term election participation, and maybe make them angry enough to push their friends into voting also. But it's plain (to me, anyway) the Democratic "brand" is not strong enough to encourage that. In the absence of a hot issue or wildly popular candidate, young voters will probably stay home again this year.