Just like in 2008, young people overwhelmingly prefer Obama over a Republican President, but the difference is this year young people are not overly enthusiastic about voting. From Gallup:

Voter Registration, Certainty to Vote, and Vote Preference by Age Group. April 20-24, 2012

Obama holds a incredible 35 point advantage over Romney with voters under the age of 30, but his problem is that only 56% of registered voters under 30 are definitely planning on voting this November. Among every other age group over 80% say they will definitely vote this year. Whether or not these young people that technically prefer Obama but aren’t excited about voting for him actually show up could decide the election. The big drop in youth turnout from 2008 to 2010 is one of the factors that led to Democrats losing a historic number of seats in Congress.

This is why we are seeing Obama really focus on the student loan issue and holding so many events on college campuses. Given that young adults have economically done disproportionally worse than other age groups during Obama’s first term, his campaign has a very difficult task in front of them on this front.