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N.C. State Student Groups Prepare For Political Debate

This story was written by Chris Allred, Technician

Leaders in Students for McCain and Students for Obama have been preparing for the Technician-sponsored debate, which will be in 434 Daniels HallMonday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Ches McDowell, chair of Students for McCain and freshman in political science, said he has been studying Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain's positions.

"This [debate] is on what John McCain feels," he said. "I don't necessarily agree with John McCain on every single thing, but I don't agree with [Democratic presidential candidate] Barack Obama on anything."

Michael Cobb, North Carolina State Univeristy professor of political science, will moderate the debate, which will bring two students from each group, including McDowell, on stage to argue in favor of their candidate.

McDowell said he has been studying all of McCain's platforms and thinking of possible responses from his Democratic rivals.

Brett Little, a senior in political science and a debater supporting Obama, said he joined the debate to inform students on Obama's positions.

"If we're able to inform people of his actual positions instead of just political hearsay, then more people will be likely to vote for Sen. Obama than Sen. McCain, because I believe he looks out more for the youth interest than Sen. McCain," he said.

According to McDowell, students will learn they should vote for McCain.

"Students that watch the debate will understand that John McCain is the man that will work for the students," he said.

McCain has a "proven record of bipartisanship" and he and Gov. Sarah Palin, his running mate, will move away from the "Ivy League idealogue that doesn't understand the average citizen."

Students are so busy that Little said this will give them an opportunity to learn something they might not get elsewhere.

"They're studying every night for tests and midterms," he said. "College students have a lot going on in their lives."

If they are able to come to this debate, Little said it will be a chance to be more involved in the political process.

To prepare for the debate, he said he has watched the presidential and vice presidential debates again, viewing talking points and strategies, and has also viewed information from nonpartisan Web sites as well as Obama and McCain's sites.

Little said he campaigned door-to-door for President George Bush's reelection in 2004, and while he still considers himself a conservative in some ways, he does not think the Republicans are the right choice for this election.

According to Little, this election should be about issues like the economy instead of values.

"Value positions matter up to a certain point," he said. "But I think this election is more important in terms of issues than values."

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