MANCHESTER, NH - The New Hampshire Primary has long been the first in the nation and for the sixth consecutive time, Quinnipiac University students have played a role in the outcome.
A political science course, called “Presidential Election Campaigns: The New Hampshire Primary,” includes QU students volunteering for the candidate of their choice.
“We’ve knocked on so many doors since we’ve been here, but it all becomes worth it when you see voters that actually care and you see the results coming out,” said Samantha Murdock, a QU Student from Windsor Locks.
“The only way you can really learn parties and elections is by being part of one and to have real campaigning experience,” Scott McLean, Chairman of QU Philosophy & Political Science, who teaches the course.
Most exciting for many of the students: events with the candidates.
“When you’re at the actual event, you see people around you and see how they interact with the crowd,” said Senaj Mersim, a QU Student from Oakville. “At the end, you see how they talk to the people and really connect.”
“We got to go to the Trump rally yesterday,” said Jonathan Rosenblum, a QU Student from Middletown. “We got into that. That was an interesting experience. We had fun.”
Among the QU students on the ground was one stumping for surging Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg.
“I definitely believe Iowa is giving him the momentum that he needs in New Hampshire,” said Jensen Wilson, a QU Student from Milford.
And, all of the students say Professor McLean‘s class is the coolest they’ve ever taken in college.
“There’s nothing like being out in the field doing actual work being able to engage the citizens of New Hampshire,” said QU student Nicholas Ciampanelli.
“The students don’t become so much partisans as they become patriotic,” McLean said. “They see this process as a vote for the country.”
There are two registered Republicans that are part of the Quinnipiac contingent. However, both chose to work for the Andrew Yang campaign. One because there is no suspense surrounding President Donald Trump’s GOP nomination.
“You look at the economy and, obviously, he hasn’t done all of it, but it’s very hard to argue that the tax cuts and the deregulation hasn’t at least contributed,” said Stephan Kapustka, a QU Student from Glastonbury.
“The only way you can really learn parties and elections is by being part of one and to have real campaigning experience,” said McLean.
“When I heard Andrew Yang‘s message, I heard it was a different point of view and that point of view aligns more with my beliefs and I just jumped on the Yang gang,” said Joshua Gorero, a QU Student from Durham.
Participants in the most recent Quinnipiac University poll, released Monday, still feel Joe Biden has a slightly better chance than Bernie Sanders of beating President Trump, by a margin of 27% to 24%. However, Biden’s lead in this category was 19 points just prior to the Iowa caucuses.