Student political organizations stack up local and statewide elections
With the Delaware primaries just three days away, the campaign season is beginning to heat up.
Throughout the first state with close races for many statewide offices and local districts, student organizations on campus are taking notice.
“Right now we are facing a massive crisis of people not showing up,” Kelly Read, the vice president of the College Democrats, said.
Voter turnout is an issue faced by both Republicans and Democrats. In the 2014 midterm election only 36.6 percent of eligible voters throughout the nation voted, according to according to U.S. News & World Report.
But this has not stopped student organizations from trying to buck the trend.
“Voter turnout and voter registration become a perennial cause,” Read said. “Not just UD Democrats, but people across the nation and all voters.”
Bailey Weatherbee, president of Young Progressives Demanding Action, said the group is not “affiliated with any political party.” College Democrats would not endorse any candidates before the primaries.
The Review reached out to College Republicans and Young Americans Demanding Liberty for this story, but did not receive a response.
Democrats may ride an anti-Trump wave back into office as they seek to regain a majority in the house.
History is on their side. Since the Civil War, according to NBC News, the president’s party has lost on average 32 seats in the House and two in the Senate.
Republicans, however, have dominated in terms of turnout in recent midterm elections. In the last two midterm elections, Republicans were more than 20 percent more likely to vote than Democrats, according to an analysis of voter data from the company L2.
Alexa Adams, Media Director for The College Democrats, said the public, no matter which party, should be “figuring out which candidate will be best for the community.”
Adams believes the national trends should be separate from local elections in Delaware.
“[Elections are] a toss-up on how it can go, it is tough in areas where it wasn’t tough before for both parties,” Read added.
Progressive challengers like Kerri Evelyn Harris, who is running for Tom Carper’s Senate seat are looking to take advantage of the uncertainty surrounding midterms. According to Weatherbee, Harris in particular is “shaking the old guard.”
“People are aware of them [progressive challengers] now more than ever before,” Weatherbee said. “I don’t know if that is because of the Harris Campaign or Trump.”
It’s no new phenomenon in the state of Delaware, as Weatherbee pointed out. In 2008, current Delaware Senator Chris Coons appeared to have slim chances against incumbent Mike Castle, before Castle lost to primary challenger Christine O’Donnell.
“Many are rising that may not have political experience,” Adams said. “Voters have to see what works best for them and their values.”
Adams believes the main purpose of her organization, the College Democrats, and the midterms is to spark a conversation on current events.
“There hasn’t been a lot of talk about what happens next,” said Read, Adams’ colleague on recent election results. “Because I don’t think anyone is that certain.”