Friday, February 22, 2008

Talking With Kentucky Voters Is A "Cultural Experience"

Those curious Columbia College Democrats are in the news again. They still remember fondly their road trip to Kentucky last fall to campaign for the Beshear-Mongiardo ticket.

But it seems that some at Columbia are not happy about school letting out for the Democrats to do their missionary work in Kentucky. Lydia DePillis, a junior at Columbia, reports:

Not everyone at Columbia likes the Election Day break. The low rate of participation—the Dems are essentially the only ones who send canvassers—has prompted calls for a longer Thanksgiving break if no one uses the election break for its original purpose anyway. Plus, after Election Day had come and gone, the Columbia Dems probably didn’t make much of a difference in Kentucky: Beshear was already beating his opponent by double digits. Why wouldn’t a group from a school like Columbia, Democrat or Republican, use the resources it has to target smaller races where 50 people for five days could really swing an election? And why would people who aren’t hardcore activists go on such a trip at all?

A few reasons: Road trips are fun, and they build group unity. Talking to voters in places far away from school—like Kentucky—is a cultural experience that many students may not otherwise get.

The natives are not amused.

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