With Republican presidential candidate John McCain trailing in national polls less than a week before the general election, Minnesota college Republicans were not showing any signs of letting up or slowing down.
Bethany Dorobiala is the chair of the Minnesota College Republicans, which oversees the College Republican chapters at more than 40 universities and colleges in the state. She says that although Minnesota traditionally votes for a Democratic candidate in the general election, “It’s nothing that’s kept volunteers from showing up… Volunteers have shown up in record numbers.”
Since the beginning of the fall semester this September, Minnesota College Republicans have added chapters at three new schools in Minnesota, and recruited more than 1500 new members for their cause.
In the final days before the election, the College Republicans have taken to the front doors and telephones to help get out the vote.
“It’s a lot of grassroots work,” says Dorobiala, “We’re contacting and working with voters on a one-on-one basis.”
“As a battleground state, Minnesota has had increased attention this election. … It’s good for the state,” says Dorobiala.
At St. Thomas University in St. Paul last Tuesday, students wore sweatshirts adorned with elephants and sported bright red Tim Pawlenty t-shirts as they waited in line to hear Governor Tim Pawlenty and Senator Norm Coleman speak.
Abby Kowitz, a student at St. Thomas, waited in line with almost one hundred others. “I’m with the Republican party, definitely,” says Kowitz. She has taken time to volunteer with the St. Thomas College Republicans this year, taking to the phones and talking to voters to help get out the vote.
“Everything is important,” she says, but the most prevalent issues she’s seen on campus are “pro-life issues, and issues like gay marriage.”
St. Thomas student Nick Waverek considers himself economically conservative and has spent the election season gathering as much information he can about the candidates.
“I’m hoping to see something I haven’t learned so far,” said Waverek, waiting in line to hear Governor Tim Pawlenty and Senator Norm Coleman on Tuesday.
Waverek noted that its important to gather as much information about all candidates involved in the election. Everyone has an agenda, he says, so it’s important to read between the lines.
With just days to go before the election, Waverek understands that while he still has some decisions to make, he already knows what will guide his decision when he goes to the polls next Tuesday.
“We all need to think about the future.” he says.”I have so much hope for the future.”
Maura Youngman is a journalism student at Hamline University and an intern at the Twin Cities Daily Planet.