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
“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
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
There is still a lot going on before Super Tuesday, the second
Tuesday in March when more than 20 states hold primaries, Jeong
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
So many things hinge on the next several weeks, Fuhrman
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 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.”