ARLINGTON, Va. – The GW College Republicans did not have to work hard to win over resident Monina Nader during their canvassing trip Saturday here.
She already displays side-by-side pictures of President George W. Bush and Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain on her refrigerator.
But in the battle for votes in the highly contested presidential race in Virginia, the CRs tried to get every moderate and Republican to come out for McCain on Election Day.
About 20 CRs traveled to the McCain national headquarters in Arlington where the group convened before heading door to door through the surrounding neighborhoods to promote their candidate.
Virginia’s role in the election became even more critical this year, as it has allowed early voting – polls around Virginia open for voting on Friday. This change has caused both parties to double their campaign efforts.
With surveys, pamphlets and bumper stickers in tow, the CRs focused on residences that were neither strongly Democratic nor Republican.
Those who went door-to-door proceeded in pairs and identified themselves as Republican supporters of McCain who had questions regarding the residents’ voting choices for the upcoming election.
Questions included whether or not the resident was a registered voter, if they were voting for McCain and if they would be interested in volunteering for the campaign.
Responses were mixed, ranging from strong support for Obama to dedication to McCain, as well as several belligerent responses from Virginians who did not want to be bothered.
The spirited canvassers ignored these setbacks and continued on to find new voters to talk to.
“Politics is like fishing,” said freshman Grant Colson, adding that you can never be sure what the outcome will be.
Senior Brand Kroeger, chairman of the GW CRs and D.C. Federation of College Republicans, said the GOP must fight to get as many votes as possible for the upcoming election.
“These elections are what make or break our party,” Kroeger said.
Though Saturday’s canvassing trip was only a short Metro ride away, the CRs next major trip will be to Pennsylvania in late October.
The CRs will continue their campaign efforts until Election Day in November, and they anticipate using some of the voting information gathered on Saturday for the mass campaigning they plan to do within the 72 hours before Nov. 4.