All Parties Invited on Super Tuesday
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Since Sidnie Davis arrived at Smith College as a first-year student, the California native has voted three times by absentee ballot, most recently in the presidential primary.
However, just because she has already cast her vote by mail does not imply Davis, president of the Smith College Democrats, will be idle on Super Tuesday.
In fact, Davis plans to be quite busy on Feb. 5. Her calendar includes staffing a phone bank throughout the day to call voters and encourage them to go to the polls. And, at either end of that time, she intends to stand on a downtown sidewalk with a sign to “catch commuters and let them know that Smith and American youth in general are organized, passionate and politically active.”
During the evening, Davis will join her peers – Democrats and Republicans alike – for a “Super Tuesday” party in Stoddard Auditorium beginning at 7:30 p.m., to learn which candidates will likely receive the party nominations for the 2008 election.
“It’s going to be high energy,” says Davis ’08, of the party co-sponsored by both campus political groups and the Smith College Department of Government. “The interest on campus is huge – this is the most political fervor I’ve seen.”
Marc Lendler, associate professor of government, agrees that Smith’s population seems to reflect the nationwide surge in interest among young people in this election.
Lendler, an expert on the American presidency, organized the Super Tuesday party in order to gather together students who would otherwise be watching the election results individually. He has held similar gatherings during previous elections and, he says, there is not likely to be any formal discussion because the events will be happening very quickly.
Samantha Lewis, president of the Smith College Republicans, plans to attend the Stoddard event but, for Lewis, the activities surrounding the presidential election will take a different path than the one Davis is following.
As a resident of nearby Springfield, Mass., Lewis will drive to her hometown to cast her vote tomorrow. A day later, she will board a flight to Washington, D.C., with four other Smith students to attend a three-day Conservative Political Action Conference. “We are raring to get involved in this election,” says Lewis ’08.
The tenor of Super Tuesday will also be different for the two young women.
While Davis said she will be pleased with a win by either of the Democratic front-runners – New York Senator Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama – Lewis is specifically rooting for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
“Tomorrow is a huge deal. It’ll be a nerve wracking day for me,” says Lewis, adding, “I’m a Romney girl. I remember at 16 watching him give the State of the State Address – I was so inspired.”
Lewis says she will be disappointed if Romney does not lead at the polls on Super Tuesday. She may even get a chance to tell him so in person. The candidate is slated to appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, on Thursday, Feb. 7.
“It’s exciting being around tons of people who think like you,” says Lewis. “And, it’s going to be especially exciting after Super Tuesday.”
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