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Obama challenges Republicans

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US President Barack Obama has laid down a challenge to Republicans by calling on young people to re-enlist in his now battered crusade of hope and change. Obama defended his record as a reformer before 6,000 students in Iowa.

Obama reeled off a list of achievements likely to appeal to young voters, including the repeal of the ban on gays serving in the military, the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and new measures to alleviate student debt. In 2008, Obama captured 66 percent of the youth vote, defying conventional wisdom that young and first time voters often don't register their votes.

Polls suggest, he leads the same category this time. Obama's event is part of a tour of college campuses in the swing states of Iowa, Colorado and Virginia. His visits are timed to coincide with the new academic year and come just over two months ahead of the US elections.

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