Ohio State’s 55,000 students are a big part of a central Ohio congressional district in which Democratic Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy is facing a rematch with her 2008 opponent, Republican Steve Stivers. Kilroy spokesman Brad Bauman says the students are “a huge voting bloc for us,” but Stivers spokesman John Damschroder says any advantage Kilroy had on campus in the close 2008 race will be minimized.
“She had a wind at her back last time,” he said, referring to students’ support then for Obama. “Now it’s a stand-alone election for her.”[...]
Enthusiasm by all groups dips in midterm elections compared to presidential races. The drop-off is compounded for college students, who can be distracted by everything from classes to football and often aren’t registered to vote in their school’s congressional district.
“It sort of falls under the radar,” said Rebecca Leber, a senior from the University of Rochester.
In the AP-mtvU poll, white students are about evenly divided over Obama – 34 percent approve of his performance while 37 percent disapprove. In May 2009, they approved by 53 percent to 21 percent. The drop is consistent with his decreased popularity among all whites.
Minority students are positive by 58 percent to 13 percent margin, slightly worse than in May 2009. In both polls, about a quarter overall were neutral.[...]
AP-GfK polls show Obama remains more popular among younger than older voters, but more older people express interest in the congressional elections. A September survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that among people under 30, those favoring Republicans are likelier than Democratic supporters to say they’ve thought a lot about the election.
The AP-mtvU Poll was conducted Sept. 20-24 by Edison Research of Somerville, N.J., and involved interviews with 2,207 randomly chosen undergraduates at 40 randomly selected four-year schools with at least 1,000 undergrads. To protect privacy, the schools were not being identified and students’ names were not recorded. The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.