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Young Democrats Club to host events for election

Jillian Barwick | Tuesday, October 23, 2012

With the presidential election swiftly approaching, the Saint Mary’s Young Democrats Club is gearing up for the final preparations President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney make as the country heads into November.

Senior London Lamar, president of Young Democrats at the College, said she realizes that a great aspect of this election has been social media and how it has taken the election process to another level.

“I did my senior comprehensive on how President Obama won the 2008 election with social media. You have to look at how, generally, Republican supporters are older, middle-aged to older white Americans,” Lamar said. “Those who support Obama tend to be more diverse, young Americans. You have to realize that when it comes to social media and technology, the younger generation is adapting more than the older generation.”

By looking at social media as a way of determining who will win the election, Lamar believes that most voters will see that Obama leads the race on Twitter and Facebook.

“His supporters use technology more because they tend to be younger,” she said. “We are a generation that uses technology in our everyday lives, especially Twitter and Facebook. Those were definitely pieces of technology that helped Obama win because that is how young people are communicating.”

Lamar noted that Romney supporters tend to continue to read the newspapers and read magazine. For them, she said, their generation is not adapting to social media because they do not use it as much.

“For Romney, he’s trying to get the younger electorate with the social media; however, fewer supporters of his are actually using social media,” Lamar said. “He is definitely adapting to social media more though. For example, I was on Twitter Monday and I noticed that the Romney campaign had bought a Twitter topic as a way to get Romney to trend on the social media site.

“With Obama, it takes one tweet with a hashtag to get a topic trending on Twitter. His supporters are more Twitter-savvy than Romney’s at this point.”

While Lamar believes social media does have a huge impact on the voting process, she does not think it will necessarily determine the final outcome.

“It definitely does help to determine how a candidate will reach out to the younger generation though. Our generation is moving to use more social media now and more newspapers and magazines are becoming heavily web-based,” she said. “As our technology is getting older and we are becoming of voting age, we have to adapt to what we like and what we use the most.

The Young Democrats will also be holding some upcoming events for students before the election is underway. The club will be hosting another phone bank Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in Regina Hall.

“At the phone bank we call Ohio voters to encourage them to make sure they get out an early vote and to encourage them to vote on Nov. 6,” Lamar said. “Ohio is a big crucial swing state, so we want to make sure that we are helping the Obama campaign in South Bend contribute to calling Ohio voters.”

A representative from the Obama campaign of South Bend brings the club members call logs and scripts for the phone bank. The participants then call the numbers and ask voters questions to help the campaign narrow down and see where Obama stands, Lamar said.

“We are also partnering with Feminists United for an election panel we will be holding next Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. located in Conference Room A of the Student Center,” Lamar said. “We have professor Patrick Pierce coming to talk about the election. Students can come and ask the him questions about what he thinks about the election.”

Students can also ask Pierce to help clarify items on the election that they are unsure of still. Pierce is the advisor for Young Democrats at the College.

“It is a bipartisan event, so anyone can come and ask questions; kind of get a deeper perspective of what the election is about and what the stances are of the two candidates,” Lamar said. “This is a great event especially for those who are still undecided because the election is only two weeks away.”