Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Kal Penn and the Student Vote

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Part of the genius of Obama’s campaign has been appealing to different demographics to increase voter turnout.  In 2008, Obama was especially successful at winning younger voters’ enthusiasm to clinch North Carolina.

He’s attempting to do so again.

Not only did Michelle Obama speak at a couple colleges in the state a couple weeks ago, but President Obama is enlisting help through another surrogate—this time of a different kind of fame.

Kal Penn, an actor chiefly known for his roles in House, Harold and Kumar, and How I Met Your Mother, is also no stranger to the political realm.  He was appointed to the White House Office of Public Engagement, and has spoken in support of Obama, most recently at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Penn recently took North Carolinian students’ questions in a statewide call for the Obama campaign.  In particular, he stated Obama “made a lot of progress but needs more in particular, and in a place like North Carolina that one vote makes a difference.

Penn isn’t the only part of the Obama campaign appealing young students.  On Obama’s website, the North Carolina page is looking to engage college campuses in a North Carolina Students for Obama Campus Challenge.  Their goal is to foster competition among schools to achieve the most votes and in turn, a presidential victory in the state.

As a college student myself, it is interesting to see how Obama campaign pays attention to its younger supporters. Its methods have been tried and true, and seem to be promising in this election as well.


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