Several nationally conducted polls show that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton remains the most popular Democratic candidate among young voters.
The Cook Political and RT Strategies poll found that Clinton was ahead of her "closest opponent" by 11 points in September among 18- to 34-year-olds, after being behind almost 16 points just a few months earlier, according to a press release from the Clinton campaign.
Clinton's campaign could not be reached for comment.
"Most people, especially students, are still getting a feel for the candidates and what they stand for," said Marshall Rivers, a 5th-semester political science and geography double major and vice president of the UConn College Democrats.
Justin Rosen, a 5th-semester political science major, hopes Barack Obama will be elected as the Democratic nominee in the primary election, which will be on Feb. 5, 2008 in Connecticut and many other states.
"My issue with Hillary is not so much her views, but that she's not a candidate that can win an election," Rosen said. "I want a Democrat who can win."
The candidates' profiles on Facebook.com show that Obama has 162,436 Facebook supporters while Clinton has 51,909. Of the Republican candidates, Mitt Romney has 20,888 supporters on Facebook and Rudy Giuliani has 9,899 supporters.
Clinton has more supporters on the popular Web site Friendster than any other candidate, according to the release.
A poll conducted by Rock the Vote, WWE's Smackdown Your Vote! and Sacred Heart University, released on Nov. 1, showed that Clinton has the support from 54 percent of those polled, leading her "nearest opponent in the Democratic primary by 30 points," according to the release.
"Barack is young and inspirational and he can tap into a base that will inspire the Democratic Party rather than tear at it," Rosen said. "Hillary, going by recent media reaction , seems to be too connected with herpast. People associate her with her husband and the Lewinsky scandal."
Part of Clinton's agenda is to improve access to higher education for current and future college students, according to the release. She also recognizes the importance of promoting alternative means for those who don't attend college.
"We're not voting. We have high interest rates and tuition costs as a result," Rosen said. "Candidates don't have to court us for our votes because not many of us do vote."
Rosen also said that the cost of college is crippling most Americans and that students should vote for a president who will recognize the need for more government funding for higher education.
In early November, the Clinton campaign announced Students for Hillary, an effort aimed at organizing support on college campuses. Approximately 120 chapters in 37 states are in existence, according to its official Web site. Currently, the only college in Connecticut to have a chapter is Yale University and its law school. Ten colleges in Massachusetts, nine in New York and one in Rhode Island have Students for Hillary chapters.
"It's important for students to become educated [about the candidates] because this election will play a pivotal role in where the country goes," Rivers said.
Justin Grenier, a 7th-semester political science major, supports John Edwards for the upcoming primary election.
"Students need to get actively involved with politics," Grenier said. "With the way the Electoral College is structured, the primary is extremely important because our votes count. We decide who our candidates will be."
Another Cook Political and RT Strategies poll of candidate support found that 18- to 34-year-olds chose Clinton over Republican Giuliani by a margin of 45 to 33 prcent, according to the release.
"I feel that this year's Democratic candidates are putting on a public relations show to win popularity contest," said Dan Gollan, a 5th-semester English major. "When Obama dances on the Ellen Show, it's clear the campaigning has become nothing but political gossip."
"Ron Paul is not the kind of candidate that would do that," he said. "He seems to want to do what's best for our country."
Rivers said that within the parties, many candidates seem to have similar views on the issues, but people will see grave differences when people really look into what they stand for.
"We need to pay attention to these candidates so we can vote on someone who will secure our spot in the economy," Rosen said. "We are the future of America."
© 2007 The Daily Campus via U-WIRE