Obama set to rally youth vote at USC

The latest Field Poll, released on Wednesday, September 29, has tracked President Obama’s approval rating in California since just after his inauguration in March 2009, when he enjoyed a 65 percent approval rating; now, with an overall approval rating of 53 percent, the president is set to appear up and down the West Coast in order to bolster Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm elections.

His next stop might be his most important: the University of Southern California on Friday, October 22, where he will attempt to invigorate the youth vote that helped put him in office.

The Field Poll notes that 60 percent of those polled aged 18-39 approve of Obama’s performance. That demographic also had the highest rate of “no opinion” answers, however, with 9 percent.  His approval, according to the poll, drops off to 51 percent and 49 percent in the 40-49 and 50-64 demographics, respectively.

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Proposition 19: Will the federal government stand in the way?

The L.A. Times published an editorial yesterday on Proposition 19, "The feds say no way." It looks at Attorney General Eric Holder's statement that the U.S. government will continue to enforce federal drug laws whether or not California passes the proposition to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

"We will vigorously enforce the [federal Controlled Substances Act] against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," the Times quoted Holder as writing in a letter to former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration who had lobbied for the Obama administration to oppose Proposition 19.

The federal government has allowed local governments to make their own rules regarding medical marijuana, but in the eyes of the L.A. Times, that won't extend to recreational marijuana use.

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Twitter - a Senate campaign selling point for Grassley

In one of the more unique ads of this campaign season, Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has one drawing attention to his use of social media.

He talks about using Twitter, Facebook and texting, while also assuring his constituents that he holds actual meetings in 99 Iowa counties every year.

You can find Chuck Grassley on Twitter where he's, conveniently enough, @ChuckGrassley.

Do you feel your representatives keep in touch well enough with their constituents, or would you like them to be doing more outreach, either online, over the phone, or in person?

(Via Ezra Klein)

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Will a clear winner emerge from final Brown, Whitman debate?

At this point, the governor's race seems to be too close to call, with most polls showing Democratic candidate Jerry Brown slightly ahead of Republican Meg Whitman.

After having butted heads over jobs, the budget and immigration in two previous debates, Whitman and Brown now find themselves in a somewhat-freeform matchup moderated by NBC's veteran anchor Tom Brokaw.

Both Whitman and Brown recently have benn dogged by scandals that for the moment have pushed matters of governing California to the backburner, some say. Voters, while slightly amused, deserve better.

If California voters are in any luck, tonight's final debate will reveal once and for all which candidate has the greatest potential to steer the Golden State back to prosperity. Brokaw, for his part, said he should have a "couple surprises tonight, slightly different takes on these California-related issues."

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California wasn't always a two-party impasse

Florida's Senate race is notable not for having a former governor abandon the gubernatorial race to run for a seat, but that he left his party behind to run as an Independent - and he's got a good chance of winning.

The former governor has been described as the moderate between the polar convictions of his opponents, Republican candidate Mario Rubio and Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek; accordingly, Crist has also been criticized for sitting on the fence and flip-flopping on issues.

In today's polarized political climate, a three-member race seems illogical, if not impossible: here in California, voters haven't elected a third-party candidate in over a hundred years. Unfortunately, California's senate race history hasn't been stored by respected news or journal outlets - not even on government websites.

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