Insight into Voters’ Thinking
I have been a supporter of Ron Paul since 2007. Getting to work for his 2012 campaign in New Hampshire was a real treat.
I want to live free, I want my children to live free and I want their children to live free. As Ron Paul says, every generation deserves to live free. To be a part of a movement that promotes liberty, honesty and limited government is to be a part of a movement that wants to make America a freer nation.
Working on the campaign was tough. I and other volunteers had long days, short nights and made thousands of phone calls during preparations for the primary in New Hampshire. It was completely worth it. Nothing is more satisfying than talking to complete strangers on the phone, trying to convince them that they should vote for Ron Paul.
Talking to people was very personal and gave me a lot of insight into their thinking and the political process itself. The most important thing I learned was that while I had made up my mind on my presidential candidate for years, most people are completely undecided right up to the end. Convincing a number of undecided people to choose Ron Paul felt fantastic.
Cody Segraves, vice chairman, Youth for Paul, Gettysburg College
Change Within Reach
Participating in the New York University (NYU) Students for Barack Obama group, I have had a great opportunity of working with young, passionate and driven volunteers.
By far my most rewarding experience has been the opportunity to speak with a wide range of individuals about what matters most to them. Listening to concerns of residents in Chester, Pennsylvania, campaign supporters in Boston, Massachusetts, or fellow students at NYU, I realized what a great opportunity it was to interact with people on such a personal level.
Also, after hearing their voices, I now recognize that listening to ordinary people is the best way of understanding the problems we face in America.
Campaigning has taught me that change is always within reach. Running a voter registration for NYU students, I have witnessed aspirations for the future of America turn into action and empowerment. This was clearly evident when NYU Students for Obama received a large and excited group of volunteers, who participated in registering students to vote.
For me, such an experience has truly emphasized the importance of political engagement no matter the level or scale. Moreover, as the time comes to elect the president, I will be happy to have done my part.
Mike Place, media coordinator, NYU Students for Barack Obama
Worthy Experience, Rain or Shine
Campaigning is really just socializing with a purpose.
My experience as a student volunteer with the Romney campaign has involved phone banking, going door to door, organizing student support for rallies, and a myriad of other activities. These activities have afforded me the opportunity to engage with the American voter. By the same token, they have enabled me to identify the issues that are truly important for the population, and evaluate how the position of my candidate corresponds with the general sentiment of this nation.
More important, campaign interactions compel me to constantly consider where I stand, who I stand with, and why I stand where I do on many of the most pressing issues facing our nation and the increasingly interdependent international system to which it belongs. Taken together, these conversations develop my political knowledge, reinforce my political passion, and stimulate my political curiosity in a way that makes even a Saturday morning campaign trek through the snow — in New Hampshire — seem incomparably pleasant.
Aditi Ghai, vice president, Harvard College Republicans
Inch by Inch to Victory
I am campaigning for President Obama’s re-election because I share his vision for America: I believe that every American has a fundamental right to health care; that the United States must transition to a cleaner, greener economy; and that government should play a role in aiding those who are less fortunate.
As a campus organizer at my university, I work with other students, campaign staff and the larger community to energize and mobilize our region to vote for Obama. We knock on doors, distribute information, hold events, speak with friends and community members, and host debates against those who do not share our political views to ensure that everyone knows why this election — and his or her vote — is critical to the success of our shared democracy. There is no better feeling than convincing a voter that my candidate is their candidate, too: Each one-on-one conversation inches the campaign closer to victory.
In my experience, elections are not won by money, candidates or actions supported by them; elections are won by the hard work of volunteers engaging people in local communities. The stakes are just too high to stay home and be complacent. The success of my country depends on my candidate. My candidate depends on people like me.
Logan V. Brog, outreach director, Dartmouth College Democrats
Shaping My Political Career
I am passionate about campaigning for Romney, simply because he will improve America more than anyone else can. His fiscal expertise, executive experience in the public sector (as a governor) and private sector (as chief executive of Bain Capital, a private equity firm), integrity, and compassion make him the clear presidential choice.
Campaigning is second nature to me, but I especially enjoy activities in which I have personal interactions with voters: I learn what’s really important to them. Their voices are useful in gauging how the American people might respond to different campaign events. Much of what I hear on the campaign trail is directly in line with Governor Romney’s ideas.
I believe voters’ opinions will also help shape my political future as my dream is to be a U.S. senator, or at least work in government and engage in political life. The more I interact with and listen to voters, the better I can serve them through my own career.
Out of all the campaigns for which I have volunteered, Romney’s campaign has taught me the most and has been the most personally fulfilling. I have learned so much about organizing a presidential campaign, including the division of labor.
In December, I met and shook hands with Romney’s son Josh. He exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, your hands are so cold!” I was in awe. The Romneys are known to be kind people. However, not until then did I realize just how wonderful they are! The experience strengthened my belief that Mitt Romney needs to be president!
Shoshana Weissmann, Students for Mitt Romney, George Washington University