Republicans reaching out for Romney

Rising sophomore Elie Litvin entered politics when he was 9 years old.

The son of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Litvin began by volunteering for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign by reaching out to Russian constituents. In middle school, he took weekend trips to New Hampshire and Maine to support George W. Bush’s reelection campaign.

So it made sense when Romney’s camp needed a student to do collegaite outreach, Litvin came to mind.

Litvin was appointed in late May as the chairman of D.C. Students for Mitt, a student-run group aiming to organize and fuel support for Romney in his latest White House bid. Aside from gathering support, the group will organize various campaign trips, set up phone banks and oversee media and donor outreach.

“I think now more than ever it’s crucial for any presidential candidate to have a base on college campuses because more voters between the 18 and 22-age bracket are registering to vote and are becoming more active in politics,” Litvin said.

A spokesperson for Romney did not return a request for comment.

Romney’s appeal to many of his younger supporters because of his strong focus on economic issues, such as the recent loss of job opportunities for college graduates, Litvin said.

“There’s a lot of dissatisfaction with poorer prospects in the job market,” Litvin said. “Out of all the candidates, Romney has the most clear message pertaining to addressing these issues.”

D.C. Students for Mitt has chapters at five universities in the District – GW, American, Georgetown, Catholic and Howard. As chairman, Litvin is in the process of appointing chairs for these five separate chapters. He said the goal is not only to represent Romney’s message, but also to represent the voice of the students.

“We want to make sure we’re a very horizontal organization. Each member’s perspective is very important,” Litvin said.

The organization allows active students to get together and actually enact change, Litvin said.

Nationally, many other student-run grassroots organizations have garnered support for the campaign.

“At end of the day, this organization is not simply about building leaders for tomorrow,” Litvin said. “A lot of students are waking up and realizing that this is about beginning to confront issues of today.”

At GW, Romney’s supporters admire his success in Massachusetts despite having Republican Party members representing only 13 percent of the electorate, Litvin estimated.

Edward Dooley, public relations director for GW’s College Republicans said, “Obviously I don’t think it’s too not widely known that there’s a lot more liberals than conservatives on GW’s campus.”

Neither Dooley nor Litvin are letting these numbers deter them from drumming up student support.

This article was updated June 13,2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Litvin was a rising junior. He is a sophomore.
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