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Obama tops among young, but less so than in 2008

President Obama has expanded his lead over Mitt Romney among young voters, according to a national poll released Tuesday, but the president’s numbers remain far below the overwhelming support he received in 2008.

A Harvard University Institute of Politics survey of 18- to 29-year-old likely voters showed Obama leading the presumptive Republican nominee 43 percent to 26 percent.

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The gap, 17 points, is six points wider than it was in November.

“Over the last several months, we have seen more of the millennial vote begin to solidify around President Obama and Democrats in Congress,’’ said Trey Grayson, the institute’s director. “At the same time, there has been effectively no change in their support for Mitt Romney and Republicans in Congress.’’

Four years ago, however, exit polling by The New York Times showed 66 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds backed Obama.

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And there is a difference, in the Harvard poll, between Obama’s support levels in the younger and older segments of the 18- to 29-year-old bloc.

Likely voters in the 25- to 29-year-old range favor the president by 23 points, but Obama’s advantage with voters 24 and younger is only 12 points.

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