Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

In the homestretch of the 2006 mid-term elections, Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania’s local, state and national offices-joined by the likes of former Vice President Al Gore, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Illinois Senator Barack Obama-visited our area on Saturday, promoting themselves, their policies and each other.Crisscrossing Southeastern Pennsylvania with the goal of getting out the Democratic vote, the politicians made stops in Bristol, Brookhaven, Downingtown, Radnor, Norristown, Glenside and Doylestown. Distinguished politicians joined Gov. Ed Rendell, who is running for re-election; Bob Casey, who is running against republican incumbent Rick Santorum for Senate; and other local politicians running for U.S. and state representative positions.

In Downingtown, just minutes from the WCU campus, Tom Houghton, Anne Crowley and Barbara McIlvaine-Smith promoted their candidacies for state representative. Joining John J. Sweeney, the president of the international AFL-CIO, was the regional leader of the union group, Bill George, who rallied the crowd with promising words of encouragement. “Organized labor has [.] 1.4 million potential voters in this election, and we’re gonna turn out 80 percent of them,” he said.

“No polls vote. Nothing matters until 7 a.m. on Tuesday,” Governor Ed Rendell said, demoting his large lead in the polls and pressing college students to get out and vote. It was Rendell’s campaign bus on which the big-name candidates arrived at the rallies. The Democratic governor, who was previously the mayor of Philadelphia, cited improved education, budget reform and expanded access to affordable prescription medications as just a few of his accomplishments since taking office in January of 2003.

Bob Casey Jr., currently the state treasurer of Pa., is offering “an independent voice” in Washington D.C., as he runs for office against two-term republican incumbent Rick Santorum. Casey Jr. says that his message is one of change. “We want a new direction for America,” he said.

Casey Jr., a Democrat, offers controversially moderate opinions on the issues. Casey does not want to set a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq. He is also pro-life, as is Rick Santorum. “This is no senate candidate anywhere in the United States,” former Vice President Al Gore testified, “who has had as forthright and courageous and detailed a policy statement and positions on global warming than Bob Casey.”

Gore spoke about the corruption and incompetence that he believes occupies our nation’s capital. He questioned the system of checks and balances, saying, “They [congress] say ‘yes sir’ before the question is even asked.”

The former vice-president told a crowd of more than 1,000 in Downingtown that the biggest crisis the United States faces is a “democracy crisis.” He continued, “It shouldn’t take these kinds of abuses and outrage and incompetence in order to produce a big change.”

Republicans were in our area on Saturday as well. Sen. Rick Santorum visited a GOP rally in Paoli, while gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann made an appearance at a republican campaign office in Blue Bell, Montgomery County.

Between Thursday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 4, The Quad conducted a poll of 412 university students living on North and South campuses. The results showed that 57.5 percent of students are registered to vote, yet only 41.5 percent of them planned on voting. Additionally, 76 percent of students who chose a gubernatorial candidate they would vote for, said they would choose incumbent Governor Ed Rendell. Regarding the race for Pennsylvania Senator, 55 percent of students said they’d vote for democrat Bob Casey, while 42 percent would vote for republican incumbent Rick Santorum. Three percent did not respond. When asked if they would vote party lines, 53 percent said they wouldn’t while 47 percent said they would.

The poll was taken via paper ballot and all participants were read the same instructions. Students took the survey with confidentiality ensured and knowing that all of the questions were optional. The survey is in no way scientific and the margin of error is unknown. Official polls are open tomorrow from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. The Quad reminds all students who are registered to vote to uphold their civic duty and do so.

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