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    Young voters’ support for Obama slips from 2008

    WASHINGTON — Young voters support President Obama by a narrower margin than they did in the 2008 election and backers of his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are more enthusiastic about going to the polls, according to a poll released Wednesday.

    In a survey by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, likely voters under 30 favor Obama over Romney 55 percent to 36 percent. Exit polls of voters in the 2008 election showed Obama defeating Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, among those 18 to 29 years of age by 34 percentage points, a key to the president’s victory.

    Participants in the latest Harvard poll who were eligible to vote four years ago backed Obama over McCain by a margin of 25 points, 58 percent to 33 percent.

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    The poll shows young Romney supporters are more enthusiastic than those backing Obama. Sixty-five percent of those who favored the former Massachusetts governor said they will ‘‘definitely’’ vote in the Nov. 6 election, compared with 55 percent of the Obama supporters.

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    Harvard’s poll of young voters in 2008 surveyed 18- to 24-year-olds, and that slice of the electorate may be less engaged this time. Those in that age group in the latest survey are less likely to vote by 16 percentage points than four years ago.

    ‘‘As enthusiasm for voting continues to slip among America’s 18- to 29-year-olds, the IOP’s latest poll shows a clear sentiment by young adults that Washington is broken,’’ Trey Grayson, director of the Institute of Politics, said in a statement.

    — Bloomberg News

    Lugar denies backing Ind. candidate

    INDIANAPOLIS — Retiring Republican Senator Richard Lugar is disputing a conservative mailer in Indiana that contends he supports Republican Richard Mourdock and reiterating he will not campaign for the Tea Party backed opponent who unseated him in May.

    A Lugar spokesman, Andy Fisher, said Wednesday that the piece was ‘‘clearly unauthorized’’ and comes from a group that spent $100,000 against Lugar in the primary. Conservative lawyer Jim Bopp’s super PAC sent the mailer this week.

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    Mourdock has sought to win Lugar’s mantle in the general election, saying in Monday’s debate that he had been endorsed by the senator, but Lugar has kept him at arm’s length throughout the campaign. Mourdock said Wednesday he is not responsible for messages sent by outside groups.

    — Associated Press

    Bloomberg enters fray with super PAC

    NEW YORK — Seeking to reshape a national political debate he finds frustratingly superficial, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York is plunging into the 2012 campaign in its final weeks, creating his own super PAC to direct millions of dollars in donations to elect candidates from both parties who he believes will focus on problem solving.

    Bloomberg, a billionaire and registered independent, expects to spend from up to $15 million of his money in highly competitive congressional, state, and local races.

    The money would be used for a flurry of advertising on behalf of Republican and Democratic candidates who support three of his biggest policy initiatives: legalizing same-sex marriage, enacting tougher gun laws, and overhauling schools.

    — New York Times