College political groups anticipate election day
By Clifton Lyons
Published on Tuesday, June 26, 2012
With just over four months until election day, the College Democrats and Republicans are working to advance their respective 2012 presidential candidates through collaboration with national campaigns, according to campus group representatives.
The College Democrats have already held several open, informal events and will continue to campaign for President Barack Obama throughout the summer, according to the Obama campaign’s New Hampshire spokeswoman Holly Shulman. The College Republicans are currently in communication with the Republican national campaign to volunteer via phone banking, door-to-door canvassing and general campaigning, according to College Republicans Vice President J.P. Harrington ’14.
Shulman said that the campaign is excited to be working with a committed group of undergraduate and graduate students from now until November.
The Obama campaign has already worked with the College Democrats and an informal Dartmouth for Obama group to collect hundreds of “pledge to vote” cards from Dartmouth students since spring term, Shulman said.
“We will continue to work with our student leaders to host small, informal events like our ‘Barack BBQ’ during finals period last semester and are looking forward to collaborating with many student groups to have voter education events, informational meetings and more that will enable us to ensure a record turnout for President Obama among Dartmouth students on election day,” Shulman said.
The campaign will also be hosting a summer kickoff meeting on Tuesday to discuss how Dartmouth students can get involved with the campaign’s grassroots team both on and off campus.
“From Pittsburg to Pelham and Hanover to Hampton, volunteers are talking to their neighbors about President Obama’s vision for an economy built to last, because they know how much is at stake,” Shulman said.
George Helding ’14, summer president of the Dartmouth Democrats, said that the main focus of the student organization’s efforts until the election will be encouraging students to register to vote.
“We know that students in general tend to be more Democratic, and therefore Dartmouth student turnout is incredibly important,” Helding said. “We work closely with Obama’s Grafton County field director Robert Avruch ’11 and other local campaigns, including Kuster for Congress and David Pierce for State Senate, and meet with them weekly.” Ann Kuster ’78 is a Democratic candidate for New Hampshire’s second congressional district. David Pierce, D-NH, is running for a State Senate seat.
The College Democrats plan to sponsor other events later in the summer, including voter registration drives and campaign-related barbecues.
The College Republicans also plan to hold several events during the summer and fall to campaign for presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to Harrington.
“We are organizing a major event to kick off the fall with a popular and nationally-recognized speaker or two,” Harrington said. “We are very excited to bring some campaign events to the Dartmouth campus. At the same time, I am helping coordinate other Romney efforts on campus.”
The Dartmouth Republicans are in the process of establishing a Students for Romney organization on campus, which Harrington is chairing.
The organization also plans on exploring the idea of creating a Greeks for Romney group, which would work to instill support for Romney within the College’s Greek system.
“Currently, we are laying the groundwork for a massive push in the fall,” Harrington said. “Lest we should forget, New Hampshire is a swing state and in a close election, an important one. As we build toward election day, the College Republicans will be more and more active both on campus and throughout New Hampshire.”
Representatives from the Grafton County and national Romney campaigns could not be reached for comment by press time.