The youth vote was a major factor in the election of President Barack Obama, but two years into his presidency, it seems he’s losing that support.
A recent AP/mtvU poll showed support for the president is waning among students nationwide. The poll shows he now has an approval rating of 44 percent among college students, down from 60 percent in May 2009.
Of those polled, 27 percent reported being unhappy with his administration, up from 15 percent two years ago.
“Voters aren’t happy with the economy and aren’t happy with high unemployment,” said Katherine Cook, chairwoman of the USC College Republicans. “Many who supported Obama two years ago feel like Obama hasn’t delivered on the hope and change he promised.”
However, the political director of the USC College Democrats, Micah Scheindlin, said Obama’s lagging numbers in the polls is normal.
“Politics is cyclical,” Scheindlin said. “You’re always going to see a president go down in popularity once they actually start governing.”
Expert’s say Obama’s support has decreased because of high unemployment rates, opposition to the economic stimulus and the healthcare overhaul, which might present Republicans with the chance to win back the majority in Congress on Nov. 2.
In an effort to prevent this, the president has hit the campaign trail, stumping on behalf of several Democratic candidates locked in close races. One of these stops will be at USC, where Obama will rally support for incumbent California Sen. Barbara Boxer.
These rallies, many of which are occurring at universities, might help the president, Cook said.
“[Obama’s university visits] may just be the deciding factor in several close Senate elections, and Obama needs all the Democrat seats he can get in order to continue pushing his agenda in Washington,” Cook said.
Though his approval rating is dropping, many USC students said they still support the president.
“People are losing trust in Obama because they want quick results,” said Felix Oje, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering. “It’s because people are looking at where we are right now and attributing that to who’s [in office] now, but [the recession] was bound to happen since four years ago.”
Christopher Pryor, a junior majoring in creative writing, agreed.
“He’s doing a solid job,” Pryor said. “There’s always going to be people who are cynics and people who are advocates.”
Although the economy and high unemployment continues to weigh on students’ minds, many USC students said they were most concerned about Obama’s healthcare reform.
“The healthcare bill surprisingly passed both the House and the Senate,” said Melanie Houselog, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering. “Unless the Republicans manage to take over Congress and change this bill from ever taking effect, I truly believe that Obama has royally screwed over the United States of America.”
She added that her main opposition to the bill included the allocation of money in healthcare and the lack of attention to seniors.
“I really don’t know if Obama won because he had so many candidates blindly following him or because people wanted to be a part of history,” Houselog said.