The Observer, the University of Notre Dame’s student newspaper, says its student readers strongly support the selection of President Obama as ND’s 2009 commencement speaker.

Of the 282 letters it has received from students on the subject, the Observer says that nearly three-quarters — 73 percent — support the decision to invite the president. Among graduating seniors, the core audience for the speech, a full 97 support are supportive. Alumni opinion on the address is a near mirror-image of student views, however, with 70 percent of 313 alumni correspondents opposing Obama’s presence at commencement.

On Wednesday, a coalition of Notre Dame student groups announced their “deepest opposition” to the decision to invite Obama. That coalition included Notre Dame Right to Life, The Irish Rover Student Newspaper, Notre Dame College Republicans, The University of Notre Dame Anscombe Society, Notre Dame Identity Project, Militia of the Immaculata, Children of Mary, Orestes Brownson Council, Notre Dame Law School Right to Life, Notre Dame Law St Thomas More Society, and The Federalist Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Exit polls show that President Obama won the Catholic vote in November by a nine-point margin, two points greater than his victory in the electorate as a whole.