For my first post, I would like to touch on an issue that is very close to me, and is a goal that I am working to achieve each day. Most people overlook the issue, or don't even think about it, but it can change elections for Republicans and conservatives for years to come. During my short time thus far as Chairman of the Temple University College Republicans and Political Director for the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, I am excited and optimistic to see so many great and energized College Republicans that I get to work with both at the state level and at Temple University itself. I hope that you find it an interesting read, as well as a glimmer of hope for the youth vote and the GOP.
Today, the nation is seeing a shift in voter turnout among the different generations. Traditionally, campaigns and candidates that have run for office have mostly focused on constituents that are generally 30 years or older. Although this method was historically effective for winning elections, today’s times are different. Recent election cycles have shown an emerging and energized constituent group – that group being young college students and millennials. As the College Republican National Committee has reported, President Obama won 5 million more votes than Gov. Mitt Romney from voters that were under 30. Although Gov. Romney obtained 2 million more votes among those aged 30 and older, as we all unfortunately know, this 2 million advantage is not enough.
Many see the Republicans’ efforts to win the college and youth vote as impossible, a waste of resources, and simply as an unfathomable feat. But that is not the truth. What we have seen, and have continued to see around college campuses is that more and more students are energized and willing to get involved with politics. And many of these students are not as “liberal” as people want them to be, or even how they think that they are. Many college students believe in conservative values and fiscal responsibility at all levels of government. But why do the Democrats constantly win the college and millennial vote by huge margins? It’s because the Democrats have used a lot of resources around college campuses, while the Republicans have been virtually absent. The Democrats have done such an effective job labeling their party as “cool”, as well as making the false claim that if you are in college, you should be a Democrat. But more and more students are finally waking up and realizing that under liberal governing, they won’t be able to find jobs upon graduating. They realize that the “utopian” and socialist ideals that their professors taught them during their time in college don’t work in the real world, and if they want to find a well paying job, a capitalistic society is the only viable economy to thrive in. Nonetheless, the Democrats still win the millennial demographic with unimaginable amount of votes. People always say, “Why don’t college students see that this failed leadership is going to hurt themselves in the future and their children as well?” It’s not because college students don’t understand, but it’s because the Democrats’ message has been delivered and executed so well on college campuses. Fortunately, the Republican Party is willing to give the resources that we need to help portray and communicate a stronger message on college campuses.
The College Republican National Committee and local state/college chapter is setting forth a new way to win the youth vote. The Republican Party and conservatives understand that the college demographic is not just a group of voters that they can ignore. In order to win elections, we need to reach out and help students understand that we aren’t the party that we were 50 years ago and what their liberal professors portray us to be. We need to show them that Republicans are those that promote job growth, equality, and the idea that no matter where you come from, or what socio-economic class you were born into, you can work to become anything that you set out to be. And students are willing to listen to our message, and if executed correctly, I am confident that this demographic will shift to the Republican Party.
The CRNC is initiating new tactics and more resources that will be available to the College Republicans. However, local chapters and individual Republicans that are found on colleges/universities also need to take initiative and feel empowered to grow their clubs themselves. Our chapters around the state of Pennsylvania, especially our chapter at Temple, will be working with these new resources to “rebrand” ourselves in order to make us more appealing to our fellow students. We are going to increase voter registration around our college campuses and use this time to organize, gather information, and persuade voters to join and support Republican efforts around the state. Students that attend campuses in urban setting, like Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia are seeing first hand how constant failed leadership and liberal policies do not help raise those out of poverty and create a thriving economy. Instead, they are witnessing the exact opposite effects in the communities that they are living in.
We all know that the young demographic has been the reason why Democrats have remained in power and have won the recent elections. We are all committed and willing to work to win these young voters over to our side. We know that our future, and for the future of our nation as a whole, is in jeopardy of falling apart if we continue to vote for liberal leaders and ideals that have been proven to fail. This effort is not going to be easy, and it is not going to happen overnight. But there are many of us that are willing to put in the time, work, and energy to turn college campuses red.