Politicos pump up for U.S. primaries

The GW College Democrats and College Republicans will have representatives in New Hampshire this week to support their respective U.S. presidential campaigns.

The two groups will provide buses to New Hampshire, which is considered one of the most important states in the presidential primary process.

Bus trips remain an important part of the work being done, but the two political camps are also focused on sharing ideology.

Right now, we’re not focusing on any one candidate, said Nate Richter, vice president of the CDs. We’re just promoting the Democratic platform.

Students who support certain candidates can take bus trips sponsored by each campaign, members of each group said. Republicans will be offering bus trips to Virginia to do primary work, and the Democrats already have gone to New York to aid Hillary Clinton in her Senate bid.

Both groups are taking the same approach to the primary process.

We’re setting down the right foundations, hoping that members will become active participants in the future, said Eric Haskell, a member of the CR’s executive board.

The focus in this part of the election is getting people involved, members from each group said. The CRs will promote an absentee ballot program, while the CDs will go throughout residence halls on campus and try to register as many people as they can.

We know how effective we are when voter registration is done, Richter said.

Both groups pride themselves on voter awareness. The New Hampshire trip involves going door to door in important towns and informing residents about candidates. The work involves handing out fliers and placing phone calls to uninformed voters.

The Get Out the Vote program sponsors voter awareness in the primary states. At GW, some CRs will hold a petition-signing rally on the H Street Terrace to help get certain names on the ballot and to increase student involvement and interest.

The work we do is effective, said Jen Thompson, a member of the CR executive board. She said student participation is a good sign for the future.

Several members of each group are involved directly in campaigns. Christian Bung, a member of the College Republicans, is involved in the Bush campaign. Senior Carolyn Lee, a former CD activist in the Gore campaign, took time off from GW to travel to Iowa and become arduously involved in the vice president’s bid for office.

(Helping a campaign in a primary state) is a great opportunity, Richter said. I think everyone should do it.

It’s great to be able to make a difference, said freshman Jesse Demastrie, who will be heading up to New Hampshire Friday with the Gore campaign. I love politics so this is a great chance to get involved some more.

While GW’s political groups will be battling more as the November election approaches, we have a good-natured competition here at GW, Richter said.

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