Youth & The Vote
Young and Latino voters kept a close eye on Tuesday night's debate.
A politically active crowd hunkered down near the TV's at Hecho en Mexico restaurant in Los Angeles on Tuesday night with an appetite for how the second presidential debate of the 2012 election might influence the results in November.
"People definitely got motivated today because of the President's performance," said Xavier Rodriguez.
The importance of November's election has been emphasized by voters and leaders on both sides of the aisle.
"The last election I wasn't old enough to vote. I will be old enough in November. And I feel it's important," said Sammy Carrera.
Across town, UCLA student Philip Orr sought help to preserve his vote once he realized he was registered in Westwood and his hometown, Chino Hills.
"I think it's a really big important election coming up," Orr said.
Non-partisan HeadCount.org estimates seven out of 10 young voters from the 2008 election have relocated, and half are unsure if they're registered to vote.
Experts call that critical for swing state voters now living in California.
"They're going into college, into service. They're changing jobs. The more mobile any voter is, the less likely he is to vote," said political scientist Thomas Schwartz.
Debate watchers say no matter your age, getting registered then casting an informed vote is the price of good citizenship.
"Voting is the easiest thing you can do. Once every four years, five minutes in the ballot box. Go and vote," said registered voter Paco Rodriguez.