As primaries for the 2010 U.S. Senate elections draw closer, Democratic groups on campus are beginning their efforts to get students involved and aware of the races in the weeks to come.
The Penn Democrats, along with Penn for Sestak and Penn for Specter, will be working hard to get out the vote before the semester comes to an end, according to Penn Dems President and College sophomore Emma Ellman-Golan.
Despite the fact that the primary is particularly important for Democrats this year, Penn Dems’ main goal is still to win in the general election come November, she said.
However, a buildup in enthusiasm for the May 18 primary election will translate to more interest when it comes time to face Republicans in November, she said.
As such, the Penn Dems will begin voter registration initiatives this week. Group members will be stationed on Locust Walk working to register students of either party to vote.
Pulling for specific Democratic Senate candidates — to face likely Republican candidate Pat Toomey in the fall — are the Penn for Sestak and Penn for Specter groups.
College sophomore and Philadelphia County Coordinator for Students for Sestak Ted Koutsoubas said the campaign’s efforts at Penn will focus on getting Congressman Joe Sestak’s name out to students.
In addition to working with Penn Dems to register voters, Koutsoubas, a former Daily Pennsylvanian photo manager, said Penn for Sestak will coordinate canvassing, flyering on Locust Walk, information sessions and other “meet-and-greet activities” to help get Sestak elected.
He said there will be a bigger push leading up to the primary election, when both campaigns will set forth strategic goals. In the end, he said, “people will choose Sestak because of principles.”
Meanwhile, College freshman Graham White, the campus coordinator for incumbent and former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter’s campaign at Penn, said the group will focus on recruitment in the next few weeks. Penn for Specter will be on Locust Walk looking for new members, and in April, will focus on “getting out the vote,” he said.
Although Penn Dems will not endorse a Senate candidate in the primary election, the group is working now to bring as many Democratic candidates to campus as possible so that students know the importance of the primary, Ellman-Golan said.
She added that though the group will be working to register voters for either party, it will encourage students to check a party box so they can vote in the primary elections.
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