Dems, GOP try to sway undecided voters

Student political groups at the U are using last minute campaign strategies to influence confused voters when they enter the polling booths today.

Danielle Fowles, a member of the College Republicans’ U Chapter, said chapter members have been “working their fingers to the bone,” calling registered voters and gaining support for Republican candidates.

“We have been going, going and going for the last couple weeks campaigning,” she said. “Mainly focusing on the Swallow campaign.”

College Democrats have also been actively involved in campaigns this election and plan to continue until election day, according to Brett Garner, secretary of the U’s College Democrats.

“Most of the staff is phone-banking today,” he said.

Garner added that the students calling registered voters encourage them to vote despite party affiliation.

“We have a list on where people can go to vote in their district and we just want people to vote,” he said. “Today is the day when people make their decision on who they will vote for.”

Despite the last-minute push by Democrats to influence voters, Republican candidates have the edge on national, state and local levels, according to College Republicans President Travis Higgins.

“I think it will be a very interesting and close election,” he said. “George W. Bush offers the best options on winning the war on terrorism and rebuilding the nation.”

Higgins said he believes that presidential candidate John Kerry, if elected, would not have the resolve to lead the nation through war.

“Bush is a stronger candidate and a stronger president,” he said. “He is not afraid to make the unpopular decision to protect the American people.”

However, U freshman and Democrat Hunter Pritchett said Kerry would bring a positive change to the nation as opposed to the incumbent president Bush.

“For me, I cannot legitimize going to war with Iraq,” Pritchett said. “Kerry and his views appeal to Democrats as well as moderate voters.” U senior Jared Massey said Bush will be victorious in part to his stronger approach to problems the nation faces at home and abroad.

“George W. Bush believes in America and in individuality,” Massey said. “Kerry is negative and instead of saying ‘vote for me’ he is saying vote against Bush.'”

Pritchett said he does not agree with Bush’s approach to foreign policy when it comes to his actions in the Middle East.

“I do not see the logic behind Bush’s need to attack all Middle Eastern countries,” Pritchett said. “He views them as so interrelated and believes that the terrorists will crawl back until we get all of the countries throughout the Middle East.”

Pritchett added that until Monday morning he also thought Bush would win this year’s election.

“It is going to be a very interesting election and it is sad to see both sides gnashing down the other’s throat,” he said. “I do not know who will win. A few days ago I thought it would be Bush, but I am not sure now because of the recent activity in the polls.”

Higgins added it is important for all students to vote and voice their opinions on candidates running this election.

“This has been viewed by people as the most important election in their lifetime,” he said. “Everyone needs to vote and vote for the people they believe will do the best job.”

Both parties plan to be at the Vote Project Party in the Union today as results for elections are announced.

“There will be one side that is very disappointed and one that is extremely happy,” he said. “Despite what happens, it is important for us to put the election behind us and work together for the good of the country.”

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