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USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and the Los Angeles Times Join Forces in New California State Poll

Survey Series to be Taken at Key Intervals throughout 2010 Election Season

USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and the Los Angeles Times Join Forces in New California State Poll

The Los Angeles Times and the University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts & Sciences today announced they will jointly sponsor a series of six statewide public opinion polls beginning November 8, 2009, and continuing throughout California’s crucial 2010 elections for governor and U.S. Senate. This is the first such cooperative venture of this magnitude between a major newspaper and a major research university in the state of California.

The University of Southern California College of Letters, Arts & Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll will be taken at regular intervals during the next 14 months, and will be designed to survey California residents’ attitudes on a wide range of political, policy, social and cultural issues.

“We are extremely pleased to team up with The Times to offer in-depth insight and analysis of the historic 2010 campaign,” said Howard Gillman, Dean of USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences. “The partnership will provide unique experiential learning opportunities for USC College students, and will also enhance the ability of our faculty to address issues that are critical to California’s future.”

Several undergraduate and graduate classes within USC College will include discussions relating to the drafting, analysis and dissemination of the poll. In addition, a working group of faculty from the College’s Department of Political Science will coordinate with The Times as the project moves forward. Dan Schnur, director of the College’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and professor of political science Jane Junn will coordinate the on-campus aspects of the poll. Other professors of political science who will be involved include department chair Ann Crigler, Ange-Marie Hancock, Ricardo Ramirez, Nick Weller and Janelle Wong.


Dan Schnur, director of the College’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. Photo credit Alexandra Bissonnette.

“The Times is pleased to join forces with the College to provide our readers with a deep understanding of the candidates and issues that will shape the state’s future," said Times Editor Russ Stanton. “In a state as large and diverse as California, accurate and timely polling is a key tool to allow people to learn what their fellow Californians think about major issues. Making that sort of information available is a central part of our journalistic mission.”

At The Times, the process of preparing the polls will tap a team of experienced editors and reporters who have deep knowledge of the state and its politics. In addition, Times’ editorial staffers will speak at a series of College-based events currently being planned.

The results of the first poll are slated to appear in the Sunday, November 8 and Monday, November 9 editions of the Los Angeles Times, as well as online at latimes.com. In addition, the polls will be made available at college.usc.edu and college.usc.edu/unruh.

Media contact:

Susan Andrews
USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences
(213) 821-2481