Russian Hacking, Midterm Elections, and USC/Oregon Game – a Potential Link?

With football season just around the corner, the following is a tongue-in-cheek missive that we hope both Democrats and Republicans, and all USC fans will enjoy:

The midterm elections come right after Saturday’s November 3rd Trojans game against the Beavers.

Historically the Trojans have a solid record against the Beavers, with 62 wins and only 11 losses going all the way back to 1921.

And although ESPN considers the November 17th game at the Rose Bowl against UCLA to be the most important game for USC in the 2018 season, we think the game against Oregon State could be a pivot point for USC and for the entire U.S.

Midterms Are All About Trump

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times observes that “Voter interest in the midterm elections stands at a historic high with a singular focus – Trump.”

The midterm elections are normally an indicator of which party will win the next presidential election, although many voters don’t think of the midterms this way.

This year, however, they do.

According to a new survey from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, “Some 60% say they view their midterm vote as a ballot essentially against or for Trump. . . That makes Trump a bigger factor in the midterm than any president since Pew first asked the question during President Reagan’s first term.”

Vast Efforts to Protect Elections?

“Russian Threat ‘Is Real,’ Trump Officials Say, Vowing to Protect U.S. Elections.”

So reads a recent article in the New York Times. The paper goes on to note that:

“Top national security officials vowed Thursday to defend American elections against what they called real threats from Russia only weeks after President Trump seemed to accept President Vladimir V. Putin’s denials of interference during a summit meeting in Finland.”

This, despite Trump’s recent assertion that the idea of Russian election meddling was “all a big hoax”.

University Voter Challenge

Colleges and universities across the country have been proactively trying to tap the voting power of their student bodies.

However, the student population is one that tends to vote Democrat. Pew Research finds that nearly 60% of 18- to 25-year-olds identify themselves as Democrats or like the Democratic Party.

As the nation prepares for the high-stakes midterm elections in November, this student body voting power could have a significant impact on the nation’s political map.

Take Representative Darrell Issa, for example.

The Republican narrowly won his district by only 1,621 votes. With more than 51,000 students in the district – half of which attend UC San Diego – the University has set up a student-organized voter access committee to push turnout in November.

Blue, Red, or Vladimir?

Which takes us back to the potential link between the USC-Oregon State game on November 3rd and the Tuesday, November 6th midterm elections.

California is a solidly blue state which means that – despite President Trump’s disbelief in Russian election meddling and belief in Vladimir Putin – the state’s election system is a likely prime target for Russian hackers.

After all, certain segments of political society blame Russian hacking for Trump’s presidential victory, so why wouldn’t California be next?

Now, given the Trojans’ winning record it’s quite unlikely that USC will lose to the Beavers. But on the off chance that the Trojans do manage to lose, how many depressed Democratic voters and students in California will bother voting on Tuesday the 6th?

Russian hacking combined with a freakish USC loss to Oregon State could very well cause the Golden State to turn red for the first time since 1988.

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