Articles about events and initiatives at the Center for the Political Future and Unruh Institute, as well as contributions from our team to significant publications in California and beyond.

The Mobile Vote Center at USC Village was the busiest in the county on Oct. 31. (Source: Akilah Graham)

USC News - USC works to get out the vote

With the midterm election just days away, CPF is leading a final push to encourage USC students, faculty, staff, and the local community to make their voice heard. “Your vote is your way to influence the outcome of these public decisions, to honor your civic duty as an American, and to join your community in shaping the future you want to see,” says CPF Executive Director Kamy Akhavan. CPF has partnered with USC Athletics, University Relations, Student Affairs, recognized student organizations, and other USC groups to make voting easier and more accessible.

Read More
Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during The Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Texas on Sept. 24, 2022. (Source: Jordan Vonderhaar)

CalMatters - Gavin Newsom’s reelection campaign looks more like a run for president

CPF Director Bob Shrum spoke to Alexei Koseff of CalMatters on Gavin Newsom's reelection campaign for a second term as governor of California and emerging as a national leader for Democrats, positioning himself well if he wants to run for president. "You can’t time any of this perfectly, because you can’t know what the future is going to bring. So when you have an opportunity to assert a degree of national leadership, then you assert it," says Shrum.

Read More
President Biden applauds as U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman takes the stage at a Democratic campaign event in Pennsylvania. (Source: Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

Los Angeles Times - Column: Jan. 6? Climate change? War in Europe? The voters have other things on their minds

CPF Co-Director Mike Murphy spoke with Los Angles Times on voters' top issues ahead of the upcoming elections. Voters, particularly swing voters, aren't swayed by abstract ideas, faraway crises, or problems scheduled to materialize sometime in the future. With some exceptions, they’re focused on the here and now. “These voters tend to look at their vote through the prism of the pain they want relief from,” says Murphy.

Read More
USC Center for the Political Future Co-Directors and veteran political strategists Bob Shrum and Mike Murphy. (Source: USC Center for the Political Future)

Finger Lakes Times - Ewing Forum opens Sunday with political discussion

USC Center for the Political Future (CPF) Co-Directors and veteran political strategists Bob Shrum and Mike Murphy shared the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center stage on Sunday, September 25 for the first event in the George M. Ewing Canandaigua Forum’s 11th season. They discussed America's polarized electorate and how we can reach consensus to solve the problems we face.

Read More
Héctor Hernández, a Secret Service agent, said that although he has faced discrimination throughout his career, he has never let it keep him from pursuing his goals. (Source: Marissa Ding | Daily Trojan)

Daily Trojan - Hispanic White House leaders visit USC

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, USC Center for the Political Future (CPF) hosted a hybrid event, "Hispanics in the White House: From the Secret Service to the First Lady’s Office," on Thursday, September 22 in partnership with USC Latino Alumni Association, USC Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, USC Price Latinx Student Association, La CASA, and Trojan Democrats. Noelia Rodríguez, Fall 2022 CPF Fellow and Laura Bush's former Communications Director, and Secret Service agent Héctor Hernández recounted their experiences working in the White House. The conversation included personal anecdotes of their time in the White House and how being Latinx impacted their careers and hopes for the political future of America. Maria Romero-Morales, Assistant Chief Diversity Officer for USC Communication, Community and Student Engagement, moderated the discussion.

Read More
On the University of Pittsburgh campus, many students organize get out the vote campaigns through signs, stickers, and text messaging their friends during the U.S. Election Day. (Source: Aaron Jackendoff / SOPA Images / Sipa USA / Sipa via AP Images)

Washington Monthly - USC Recognized for High Voter Registration Rates

The University of Southern California has been included in the Washington Monthly’s 2022 Best Colleges for Student Voting Honor Roll. USC earned this top ranking because more than 85% of the eligible student population registered to vote. The USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future helped drive those student registration efforts along with partners VoteSC, USC Athletics, and a coalition of other campus organizations. Fight On and Vote On!

Read More
Andrew Yang, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, and Kanye West (left to right) are the top third-party candidates to President Biden and Trump for the 2024 presidential election. (Source: Win McNamee/Getty, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty, Saul Martinez/Getty, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty, Photosynthesis/Getty, Tyler Le/Insider)

Insider - What Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, and The Rock have in common: They're top third-party alternatives to the Biden-Trump 2024 presidential binary.

Nontraditional, third-party candidates are interested in making an independent presidential run. This article examines 14 notable celebrities and would-be politicians to watch ahead of the 2024 presidential race. CPF Director Bob Shrum shared his insights on Andrew Yang's candidacy and the challenges of Green Party and Libertarian Party candidates.

Read More
What happens in our brains when our strongly held beliefs are challenged and how can we change our mindset to protect ourselves from conspiracy theories? (Source: BBC Reel)

BBC Reel - Why conspiracy theories are so hard to challenge

BBC Reel featured USC Dornsife scholars, including CPF Executive Director Kamy Akhavan, delving into the history of conspiracy theories. They explored how they evolved, who is most susceptible, and why they have become difficult to challenge in modern day.

Read More
Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso tours Grand Central Market last week. His spending in the race is a record in Los Angeles political history. (Source: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times - With unprecedented spending, Caruso is everywhere. Can the billionaire become overexposed?

CPF Co-Director Mike Murphy comments on Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso's $24-million investment in television, radio and digital advertising. This surge of spending is unprecedented in Los Angeles political history and remarkable even by national standards. Murphy shared his insights into the political strategy behind this wave of advertising and whether it's successful.

Read More
Sydney Brown shakes hands with former Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in San Francisco in November 2021. (Source: Sydney Brown)

USC Annenberg Media - College students could be spending their time partying outside of the classroom. Instead, they’re thinking 30-50 years ahead about the future of politics.

USC Annenberg Media profiled Sydney Brown, a junior majoring in political science with a minor in law and social justice, who is leading political action at USC. On campus, she is the USC Trojan Democrats president, participates in Undergraduate Student Government, and is incredibly involved with CPF. Brown also works as a political strategist for The Next 50. This profile demonstrates how young voters are participating in public service and civic engagement to impact the future of politics.

Read More