Elections 2010 |

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.

While the Field Poll only canvassed registered voters, which may not be an accurate representation of national opinion, it may indicate his clout when he mounts the stage to encourage the audience at USC to vote, and vote Democrat.

President Obama may also have chosen well to come to USC based on the diversity of the student population, along with the voting population of the surrounding city: the Field Poll noted that 68 percent of African-American/Asian-American/Native American students approved of Obama, along with 56 percent of Latinos, compared to 48 percent of White non-Hispanics polled.

Neon Tommy, an online publication sponsored by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism through Annenberg Digital News, has extensively analyzed Obama’s decision to speak at USC.

“The state is more multiracial and the biggest drop off for Obama has been white older voters, so the more multiracial the state, the more democratic the state,” said Bruce Cain, professor of political science at UC Berkeley in an article by Callie Schweitzer, editor-in-chief of Neon Tommy.

The latest Field Poll also asked registered voters of the impact Obama's recommendation would have on their vote. Sixty-three percent of Democrats would be more inclined to vote for a candidate endorsed by Obama, compared to 9 percent of Republicans; likewise, 14 percent of Democrats would be less inclined to support a candidate endorsed by Obama, compared to 80 percent of Republicans.