Barack Obama was the winning candidate in the College Democrats' straw poll yesterday, taking students' votes for the Democratic presidential candidate from a table in the Kimmel and Silver centers.
Obama garnered 61 percent of the vote, more than double of rival Hillary Clinton's 28 percent. Former Sen. John Edwards, who withdrew from the campaign yesterday morning, received 2 percent, while 8 percent reported their continued status as "uncommitted" and 0.67 percent wrote in candidate Mike Gravel.
"I honestly am just hoping to have as large of a turnout as possible, involve as many NYU students as possible, so we can get as accurate a count of NYU as possible," said CAS Senior Christopher Cruzcosa, president of the College Democrats.
Cruzcosa wanted to look at the poll as a bellwether for the country's ultimate choice.
"I think the results are going to be interesting and shed some light on the makeup of NYU's political soul," he said.
The College Republicans, for their part, spent Wednesday night at a debate watching party.
College Republican treasurer David Laska said that the College Democrats' poll "means very little -- NYU is by no means representative of the country or even the state as a whole."
Laska said that, from a competitive perspective, they feared Clinton more than Obama.
"Clinton is just so vile and conniving, it seems," Laska said. "There's not much of a policy difference at all, but I don't want to have to watch Hillary for the next four years."
Hampton Williams and Cait Kannall, College Republicans president and vice president respectively, said that they do not think Hillary Clinton is headed out of the race, particularly in light of the straw poll results. "I don't think Hillary's going away any time soon; not even a big sweep for Obama next Tuesday -- Super Tuesday -- is going to manage that," Williams said.
The College Republicans' leaders said they were eager for the selection of a Democratic candidate.
"The quicker a candidate is picked, the sooner we can begin drawing comparisons between the candidates and the parties... we really hope to be a resource on campus and provide students the opportunity to come out and see where they stand on the political spectrum," Williams said.
The extraordinary turnout and enthusiasm for the straw poll, College Democrats members said, is a testament to the interest and involvement of a socially responsible and politically active student body at NYU.
"Anyone who comes to one of our meetings or walked down a dorm hall knows that NYU students give a damn about our country's future," Cruzcosa said.
© 2008 Washington Square News via U-WIRE