Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Brian Whitesell
Lynchburg, VA - Former Presidential candidate Howard Dean spoke at Randolph College Monday. Mayor Joan Foster even made Dean an honorary citizen of Lynchburg.
Dean was the Governor of Vermont and spent time as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, so it's not surprising that Dean spoke highly of Democrats' chances in November.
Dean's lecture had the usual voters, but a demographic seated near the front stood out.
For six Heritage High School Seniors, Dean was an optional AP Government assignment.
"Taking government this year has really sparked an interest," said Haley Elder, Heritage High School senior.
"This younger generation is a much more civil group than I think our generation is and they're worried about the viciousness of the ads," said Dean.
"Some of them are actually corny and we'll just make fun of how they are," said Jacob George, Heritage High School senior, talking about political advertising.
"They're a little puzzled by the tone of the campaign," said Dean.
ABC 13 had an opportunity to speak with Dean before the lecture about the younger generation and the upcoming November election.
"When you go to colleges and speak to students, is it an opportunity for you to lecture or listen?" we asked Dean.
"I do both," said Dean. "And it's always fun to listen to the new generation because they are uninhibited by tradition and you need some of that in order to grow."
A generation uninhibited by the past, and others say frustrated with the present pace.
"I think that a lot of people who got excited about the 0-8 election, especially young people, were disillusioned at how difficult it is to change things," said Holly Frazier, Heritage High School teacher.
"You've built a huge Democratic coalition in the last 2 election cycles, are you concerned that that's going to get blown out of the water this November?" we asked Dean.
"I don't think it's going to get blown out of the water. I remain, locally, very optimistic about Tom Perriello's opportunity to win. He was down, now he's even," said Dean.
Most Fifth District polls give Republican Robert Hurt a slight lead over the Democrat Perriello. Dean is predicting Democrats will hold onto the House and Senate.