Triangle colleges become campaign battlegrounds

March 25, 2008 5:50:55 PM PDT
The political climate on local college campuses is intensifying as young democrats prepare for the May primary.

The college campuses have become battle grounds. At Duke, Clinton and Obama supporters are working with students at North Carolina Central and UNC to get more people involved.

At UNC the focus is to educated voters on the issues such as the national debt -- and to young UNC democrats, nothing explains it better than a pie eating contest with a sign asking on-lookers if they could "stomach it."

Carri Hagan with UNC Young Democrats explains, "Right now it's a $9.4 trillion dollar debt and a lot of that is going to come to us and our children."

At the bottom of the platter of pie is a picture of George W. Bush, the current president they blame for the debt.

The chief motivator behind hundreds registering to vote is the primary coming up on May 6th with early voting staring on April 17th.

Since January the group says they've signed up at least 25-students a day.

Many of the Democrats at today's event admit they're split on who to support. George Drometer with Heels for Hillary says, "All the issues - I think - are really important to students."

Heels for Hillary has nearly 200 students who, despite Obama's popularity, believe Clinton is best to lead domestic and abroad. "When it comes to foreign policy she's someone who I'd definitely trust as the commander in chief," Drometer said.

At Duke, Adam Nathan agrees. "Hillary just has a lot of concrete proposals that will actually do something for students around the country," Nathan said.

But students like Aisha Gayle say Obama is the reason so many students are involved in the first place. "Obama is motivating students, motivating young people my age - mid 20's in a way I think no other candidate is," Gayle said.

This weekend all of North Carolina's young democrat from campuses statewide will gather at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in RTP.

They will hold their state convention featuring John Edwards and James Carville as the keynote speaker.


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