University Democrats, College Republicans differ on campaign efforts

College Republicans made calls across nation, University Democrats focus on Dittmar

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College Republicans and University Democrats spent time campaigning for candidates of respective parties during this election season. 

Courtesy University Democrats at UVA and College Republicans at UVA

The College Republicans chose to spend their time making calls for campaigns across the country, while the University Democrats kept their efforts focused primarily within the Virginia fifth district.

Adam Kimelman, second-year College student and vice chairman of campaigns for College Republicans, said the College Republicans decided to spend more time campaigning on a national scale because they felt they could be more impactful there.

“I think Garrett's doing a little better here than some of our Republicans somewhere else,” Kimelman said.

Sam Tobin, fourth-year College student and University Democrats president, said the choice to stay mostly local was because they wanted to make sure students — a good number of whom lean left — got to the polls and vote.

“Charlottesville is really liberal, U.Va. is really liberal and Albemarle is even pretty liberal,” Tobin said. “We knew that in the community we would be successful and impactful, so that’s why we focused on here.”

College Republicans made calls over the past few days for out of state Senate candidates including Marco Rubio in Florida, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Todd Young in Indiana.

“A would-be balance of the Senate is something that would be extremely important considering they'd be confirming Supreme Court nominees for President Clinton or President Trump,” Kimelman said. “That's something we took very seriously, and we think that keeping the Senate red is something that is very important to us. So that's why we're making calls today for our out- of-state candidates.”

The College Republicans also spent time working with House of Representative candidates Barbara Comstock (R-Mclean) and Brian Mast (R-Jupiter), after Mast’s campaign reached out to them.

“That region's going to be very close,” Kimelman said. “A lot of people here either vote in Virginia 10 or have worked for Barbara Comstock in the past so we figured we’d try to help there if we can as well.”

Tobin said the University Democrats mainly focused on the Fifth District race.

“We really [wanted] to make sure that Jane Dittmar [was] elected and we did everything we can to ensure that,” Tobin said. “We thought that it was competitive and our resources were best used here.”

Kimelman said he isn’t sure that College Republicans will help out-of-state campaigns in the future.

“We have kind of a weird scenario where the elections in Virginia aren’t super close this year, but most definitely still competitive,” Kimelman said. “During this election cycle, we wanted to see what we could do to make the biggest impact and help some people we really believe in, and this is what we came up with.”

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