It was part of the narrative of the 2008 presidential campaign. Barack Obama's victory fueled in part by the unprecedented involvement of young people. Millions registering and voting for the first time.
That was then.
Now, according to new research from the Pew Research Center, only 54 percent of 18-to-28 year old voters identify themselves as democrats, compared to 62 percent in 2008. That's an eight point drop in just two years.
This fuels a concern amongst the democratic party leadership that a key ingredient in their 2008 success will be missing this election.
"It's always bad news for a party if they can't get the same people out to vote for them this time, that they had last time," according to Dr. Lynn Vavreck, UCLA Political Science Professor.
Vavreck argues that students are no different than the rest of the population.
"The economy has not come back at a pace that has helped people reduce their anxiety about their own pocketbooks, so people are evaluating the economy. They're not happy, they're anxious, and they want something different," according to Dr. Lynn Vavreck, UCLA Political Science Professor.