It has become commonplace for Americans to see the presidential candidates on television. But it is not often that people get to meet the candidates in person. Over the last few weeks, however, a few JCU students got to experience this honor.
Jeff Kirwin is a senior at John Carroll University who has closely followed the presidential election. Kirwin found himself very busy during the summer when the presidential election came to his home state of Ohio.
On July 5, President Barack Obama was campaigning through Parma. During, this time, Kirwin had the privilege of meetings Obama personally. At the end of the meeting, Obama even autographed Kirwin’s ticket to the event. Reflecting on his meeting with Obama, Kirwin stated, “It was a great experience seeing President Obama up close. This is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Another senior, Greg Petsche, also had a similar experience to his classmate. For Petsche, he was given the chance to meet Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Petsche went with friends and won the VIP tickets from a Cuyahoga GOP Twitter contest. Although the rally was thrilling enough, Petsche enjoyed another opportunity: getting a picture with Romney. He said, “Gov. Romney was doing a ‘Meet and Greet’ after the rally,” “My friend, Dan Imfeld said, ‘Mitt, you have to get a picture with Greg.’ Although the Secret Service tried to get him to leave, Romney instead hopped off the stage to get a picture with a few of us. It was the best experience of the year for me!”
With the general election just a few weeks away, it is not surprising to see Obama and Romney making these kinds of appearances.
With polls indicating that the presidential election will be close, Ohio is a crucial battleground state. Obama narrowly carried the state four years ago, and has a slight lead again. For Romney, victory is even more dire, considering that no Republican has won the presidency without the Buckeye State.
Likewise, appeal to youth voters is also crucial to both candidates in the election. This is due to the fact that they have been affected the most by the current state of the economy. It is their turnout on election day that can very well determine the outcome. Obama’s victory in 2008 was largely carried out by the high turnout he received from youth voters. This year, much of this support has dwindled. While he still leads Romney, many of his supporters lack the enthusiasm to go out and vote. Romney is trying to sway some of these dispirited voters over to his camp.