New Hampshire Kids Break Pattern And Vote

State students more likely than in other states to be political.

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It's said before every election: The "Youth Vote" is finally going to matter.

Normally it doesn't. But leading up to Tuesday's New Hampshire presidential primary, there's a new study that says Granite State kids really are into voting.

Call them geeks or patriots, Tufts University says voters between the ages of 18 to 29 have a higher turnout rate than the national average in every general election since 1998 and are expected to make a big impact on the upcoming primary.

[See pictures of Republican candidates campaigning in New Hampshire.]

"In the 2008 primary, New Hampshire young people turned out at a rate double that of 2004 and undoubtedly played a significant role in John McCain's eight-point win over Mitt Romney," says Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Levine says it was no coincidence that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's first post-Iowa town hall in New Hampshire was held on a college campus.

"Every campaign should pay attention to young voters in New Hampshire," Levine says. "Since nearly 40 percent of young Republican primary voters in '08 identified themselves as 'independents,' candidates should be aware that many young voters could be independents again this year."

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