UNT starting to #FeelTheBern

UNT starting to #FeelTheBern

UNT starting to #FeelTheBern
February 11
02:29 2016

Brandon Farner | Contributing Writer

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ near-win in Iowa and victory in New Hampshire has brought him one step closer to Texas and to students at UNT, where support for his campaign is steadily growing.

Sanders has strong support among college-age voters and UNT is no different. The UNT for Bernie Sanders group has more than 200 people signed up to volunteer, 20-year-old merchandising senior and group president Cody Fikes said.

The group has also created a Facebook event page in hopes of bringing Sanders to campus before the Texas primary. More than 3,900 people have expressed interest.          

Political science professor Kimi King Ph.D. said she has seen evidence of this in her classrooms. In one poll she conducted, 53 percent of her students favored Sanders, while only 6 percent supported Clinton, and the remaining 41 percent was divided among the Republican field.

“It’s really not so surprising that both of the parties have gone to the outside edges of their parties’ ideologies to look for a candidate,” King said. “The myriad of Republican candidates that we saw come forward freed up the Democrats to think outside the box and when they thought outside the box, here comes Bernie Sanders.”

Mechanical and chemical engineering student Sidney Hartz, organizer for the Sanders group, cited Sanders’ political zeal and enthusiasm as to why she and other students back him.

“He’s probably the most passionate about his views, out of every candidate,” Hartz said. “He really does genuinely care about the outcome, and he puts a lot of thought and emotion and effort into his job.”

Texas, a Clinton stronghold among Democrats, could prove to be a challenge for Sanders. However, graduate student and political science Ph.D. candidate Jared Perkins, 25, said there is potential for Sanders to take Texas from Clinton given the right circumstances.

“I definitely think secretary Clinton is likely to win,” Perkins said. “The exception would be if Sanders can mobilize turnout on college campuses.”

The UNT for Bernie Sanders group has taken steps to combat low turnout through recent voter registration drives on campus.

“We got over 700 hundred people registered on campus,” Fikes said. “So that’s a big step to make sure everyone is registered in time for the primaries.”

Regardless of political allegiances, Fikes simply urges students to vote.

“No matter who people support, we want to make sure our campus is voting,” Fikes said. “We want UNT to vote.”

Featured Image: Bernie Sanders Courtesy | Bernie Sanders Website 

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