CSU for Dean

 Uncategorized
Feb 082004
 
Authors: Amy Sulzbach

Despite recent setbacks for Democratic presidential hopeful

Howard Dean, the CSU for Dean group continues to show its support

for the candidate with regular weekly meetings, a tent on the Lory

Student Center Plaza and an optimistic outlook.

“We have a tent up in the Plaza for three to four hours once a

week passing out literature and talking to students,” said Gary

Kenyon, the group’s staff adviser and a CSU research associate.

Kenyon said the group is still coming up with more ideas to reach

people who haven’t decided on a candidate yet.

Group members began their support last August by introducing the

candidate to students, whereas this semester they want to inform

students of his campaign plans. Since the beginning of the

student-run campaign, Richard Jeong, freshman physics major, said

the group has joined 600,000 other grassroots supporters across the

nation.

“He tries to believe in the youth,” said group President Daniel

Fuhrman, a landscape and horticulture major. Dean was arguably the

first Democratic nominee to hit the campaign trail, Fuhrman said.

Besides being “focused on the young,” he has “totally

revolutionized campaigning,” he said.

This initial momentum that both Dean’s campaign and the group

have felt from the beginning has slowed over the past several

weeks. The former front-runner had experienced some unexpected

twists toward the end of January. A third-place finish at the Iowa

Democratic caucus on Jan. 19 and a position as runner-up in the New

Hampshire Democratic primaries on Jan. 27 were only the beginning

of several unhappy endings. Both ended in victory for Massachusetts

Sen. John Kerry, who had only recently become a challenger for

front-runner status.

Data from a Gallup Organization poll from Dec. 9 showed Dean

ahead of other Democratic nominees at 25 percent, with an 8 percent

lead over the nearest contender at the time, Gen. Wesley Clark.

“I still don’t know what to make of Iowa,” Kenyon said. The

media must not have had accurate campaign coverage before the

votes, he said.

The group’s steadfast support is now challenged by another

string of losses as Dean lost five states Tuesday and another two

states Saturday to running mate Kerry. Also Tuesday, Clark won the

Oklahoma primaries, while Sen. John Edwards won South Carolina.

Though Kerry rides a winning streak, Fuhrman said if Kerry loses

a few more big states, Dean may still have a shot at the

candidacy.

There is still a lot going on before Super Tuesday, the second

Tuesday in March when more than 20 states hold primaries, Jeong

said.

Between now and Super Tuesday there are many questions, Jeong

said. The main issue that could swing the vote toward or away from

incumbent President George W. Bush is the war in Iraq, Jeong

said.

So many things hinge on the next several weeks, Fuhrman

said.

Even if the democratic candidate for president ends up being

current front-runner Kerry, both Jeong and Bailey will vote the

party line despite being faced with the Dean loss.

“Even if he loses it’s not about him, it’s about America,”

Bailey said.

Bailey said she believes Dean will deliver on his promises

“We like Dean,” Jeong said. “But the reality is we have to

convince 52 million people to vote for him.”

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