As everyone's noting, the percentage of young voters dropped off substantially from 2008. What should be noted: young voter turnout is never high in off-off year elections. That's not where Creigh Deeds's problems originated from. Look at his standing among independents. True, independents tend to lean toward the out-party in these elections, but Deeds had a foothold with them before the summer. Then the summer happened. The summer: GM bailed out. Unemployment spikes. Talk in Washington of a trillion dollar health care bill. Suddenly, independent men, in particular, began to orient themselves toward the basic Republican message: lower taxes, less government intervention, less spending. Waiting to see the geographic cross-tabs, but I'm betting that, where there's a comparison to be made, you'll find that Deeds did much worse among suburban (Richmond and DC) independents, particularly men, particularly those over 45.
Marc Ambinder is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.