It’s obvious that both Democratic presidential hopefuls have set their sights on the ?young voters of West Chester University. Following close behind the Clinton? campaign on the tour trail, Barack Obama will be on the West Chester? University campus this coming week, Wednesday, April 2.

The visit is part of ?the Hardball College Tour with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews.

According to the MSNBC website, Matthews will be interviewing the Illinois senator on topics including the Iraq War and the economy, also leaving time for ?a question/answer session with West Chester students. ??

The “Hardball College Tour” has been taking place since 1999, and has traveled ?to many of our country’s best and brightest colleges.

On Wednesday, West Chester will become part of that list.

Matthews stated that visiting college campuses with ?candidates is an incredible experience, which he refers to as both? “instructive and educating” on his website.

“The students bring a tremendous ?amount of passion and excitement to the game and they are genuinely? concerned about their future,” Matthews said.

??In elections past, Pennsylvania was not a determining outcome in the primary process.However, Pennsylvania ?will matter in the election this year.

Each candidate needs a specific? number of delegates to win the nomination, and the number varies for each ?party. McCain has already bypassed the 1,191 delegates required by the ?Republican Party. In the past, Democratic nominees would be past the 2,024? delegates needed to win the nomination before Pennsylvania voted.

However, since neither Clinton nor Obama has emerged as a? full-fledged front-runner, candidates are campaigning harder in the Keystone State.

For the ?first time since 1976, the voters of Pennsylvania will make a significant? difference in the outcome of the Democratic race. Students had the opportunity to hear Chelsea Clinton speak on her mother’s? behalf this past week, and many are excited to now hear Obama’s ideas and ?positions as well. ??

Katie Conrath, a first year elementary education major, is enthusiastic about seeing Obama.

“He’s really diverse and he has a lot of positive views,” she said. ??

Obama already has a strong following among young voters. A Facebook group in ?his name has over 500,000 members. While 45 per cent of young voters say that they?aren’t interested by any of the nominees 18 per cent say they are enthused by Obama, ? followed by 17 per cent enthused by Clinton, and only two per cent claim to be enthused by McCain, according to a poll done by cbsnews.com.

At the College Democrats ?national convention in late July, Obama told the cheering crowd, “In this ?election, it’s our turn. It’s your generation’s turn.”

His campaign also ?runs camps for young voters and shows a strong enthusiasm for the college-aged generation.

Obama has recently experienced a hiccup with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for the last 20 years. Wright made extremely racist remarks and negative comments regarding the ?state of the United States. However, Obama’s response seemed to? win voters back, and maybe even push him further ahead according to some political analysts.

“[Rev. Wright] is ?like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with,” Obama responded in a? speech soon after learning of the accusation.

West Chester students and faculty can obtain tickets to the event on Monday, March 31, at noon at the SSI Ticket Window in Sykes for students and the Asplundh Concert Hall Box Office for faculty and staff. Both locations will offer one ticket per West Chester ID.

Hollinger Field House’s doors will open at 3:30 p.m. and security is expected to be in effect.

“Hardball” will be broadcast live from 5:00-6:00 p.m. and will air on MSNBC again at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Jenn Rothstein is a first-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at JR649299@wcupa.edu

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