Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Election season naturally gives rise to an increase in political activity on college campuses. One new political group to join Swarthmore student life is Swatties for Hillary, a support group for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The group’s core founders are William Meyer ‘17, Miriam Pierson ‘18, and Nate Urban ‘18.
The main inspiration for starting the group comes from the founders’ deep belief that Hillary Clinton is the best candidate running for president. In addition being more experienced, Pierson and Urban believe Clinton is a generally more electable candidate than Sanders.
“In general, her impressive record as Secretary of State and depth of knowledge about a lot of important issue areas will really contradict the Republican message in a way that will help us win the race,” Pierson said.
While Clinton and Sanders have overlaps in their campaign focus, Swatties for Hillary believes Clinton is more specific and reasonable in her claims for action.
“Clinton has some really detailed policy proposals that would benefit college students. For example, being the only candidate to have a plan on historically black colleges. Having not only a plan regarding student loans, but a process to pay for it that seems likely to pass Congress,” Urban said.
Swarthmore may seem overwhelmingly pro-Bernie, but “it’s probably not quite as pro-Bernie as people think it is. Just because you yell the loudest doesn’t mean you have the most people yelling,” Urban said.
Swatties do seem to favor Sanders, however. One Fall 2015 Statistics 11 survey found that approximately 72% of Swarthmore students prefer Bernie Sanders as a presidential candidate when given the choice of Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley. Only 14% of the 112 students surveyed chose Clinton.
Both Pierson and Urban acknowledge that Sanders has been successful in gaining popular support among millenials, specifically college students, and not for unknown reasons.
“He has been able to get his message out there really well to people our age. He is a sort of a refreshing breath of air,” Urban said.
When asked about Clinton’s electability against the Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has been receiving large amounts of media coverage recently, Urban and Pierson insist that Clinton stands a good chance.
“The contrast between her experience and depth of knowledge with somebody who’s going to get up there and try to insult their way past somebody with as much poise as she has, is really going to be very compelling to the voters,” Urban said.
In preparation for the upcoming Pennsylvania primary, Swatties for Hillary plans to have weekly phone banks, in addition to bringing volunteers to the city to help the Clinton campaign.
The Swatties for Hillary Facebook group can be found here.
Featured image courtesy of www.cbsnews.com.
Correction on 3/22/2016: Due to a Chrome extension, the word “millennials” was erroneously replaced by “snake people” when this story was originally published.