Whither the Youth Vote?

Judging by the latest exit polls, young voters (18- to 29-year olds) accounted for roughly the same share of the overall electorate as in 2004--17 percent then vs. 18 percent now. But while the split four years ago was 54-40 for Kerry, it was 68-30 for Obama tonight--a net 24-point swing in Obama's favor. That's by far the biggest support shift within any age group. We'll have to wait until the exits stabilize to get a solid sense of how much the 'utes contributed to the Senator's impending victory. But it seems from these preliminary stats that they played an important (if not necessarily decisive) part.