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Friday, June 23, 2017

Students campaign for presidential candidates

Students promote Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

Nov. 27, 2007

In the midst of the presidential race, MU students are putting forth their time and their voices to support their preferred presidential candidates.

Students on campus have formed organizations to promote presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

None of these groups are official organizations, and these candidates were the only candidates represented by Missouri students on Facebook.com.

Mizzou for John Edwards, an organization formed at the end of September, is trying to garner support for former Sen. John Edwards, who represented North Carolina.

Organization officer Nate Kennedy said the group is campaigning by informing individuals about Edwards, registering people to vote and urging voters to attend caucus.

On Oct. 21, the group traveled to Iowa, where members went door-to-door and promoted the Edwards campaign. Kennedy said they plan to travel to Iowa again this coming weekend, as well as on Jan. 1 as part of an effort by Get Out The Vote to ensure that Edwards's supporters attend the Iowa caucus.

The organization is also participating in GOTV events around campus to prepare for the Missouri primary on Feb. 5.

Members of the organization supporting Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, are using many of the same tactics as Mizzou for John Edwards.

The group formed in Spring 2007 and has received confirmation from approximately 1,000 students who report that they will vote for Obama in the 2008 presidential election, Director Glenn Rehn said.

He also said the group has registered 20 percent of those students as voters.

The organization has been taking its support to the state of Iowa to persuade voters to support Obama and participate in the Iowa primary.

The organization is playing host to a benefit concert on Dec. 8 to raise money for the Obama campaign.

"We're still working really hard, and we're really excited about Iowa," Rehn said. "We can hopefully help draw out some support for him there. We're hoping that we can get him to speak at Mizzou when he comes through the state in January or February."

Members of the Hillary Clinton For President organization have also been working to gain votes for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York.

The organization has participated in phone banking as a way to gain support for the candidate.

The Clinton campaign declared a "National Calling Week" three weeks ago. Active member Denise Gilmore said the group organized a phone bank in Strickland Hall, where Clinton supporters from the community made phone calls to potential supporters.

Gilmore and Director of the Campaign Laura Frye went to Kansas City, Mo., to participate in a campaign training session where they learned how to persuade potential supporters.

The following week, Frye and Gilmore traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, to participate in the Iowa Day of Action.

There, the pair went door to door to persuade voters to support the Clinton administration.

Frye said the main goals of the campus organization are to build awareness of Clinton on campus and get students registered to vote.

The group plans to travel back to Iowa to campaign before the caucus and participate in more phone banking events, Frye said in an e-mail.

They also plan to provide information to students, have debate watch parties and coordinate with community groups for joint campaigning.

Directors of the group also plan to organize a group to go see in St. Louis on Dec. 2.

"Our organization is a grassroots effort to show and gather more support for Sen. Clinton," Frye said. "We are a group of individuals that, despite some differences, collectively believe that she is the right person to be our next president. Our group is not large yet, but we are committed."

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