Young Americans were unenthusiastic about Obama, and were inclined to vote their pocketbooks.

Despite these facts, a Tufts University analysis shows that young voters in swing states contributed significantly to Obama’s victory.

Assuming that Florida is called for President Obama in 2012, then Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Florida will be states in which young voters were essential to the President’s reelection coalition. In those states, if Governor Romney had won half of the youth vote, or if young voters had stayed home entirely, then Romney would have won instead of Obama. Those states represent 80 electoral votes, sufficient to have made Romney the next president.

In 2008, the youth vote made the difference for Barack Obama in Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia– meaning that if you subtracted all the under-30 votes, the states would have flipped from Blue to Red.

Looking at the result’s, Hot Air Pundit Erika Johnsen had the following thoughts:

The GOP is going to be doing a lot of reevaluating in the near future, and as we all think about demographic trends and how to widen the tent, we cannot ignore reaching out to and communicating with young voters. President Obama has spent a lot of time on college campuses, making himself personable and talking convincingly about delivering easier student loan and tuition rates; if we had done a little more of that type of outreach on our terms, things might’ve gone very differently.