The race for Oregon’s First Congressional District is heating up and has brought young people out in full force. With the special election to replace former Representative David Wu just around the corner, College Republicans have been working around the clock to elect businessman Rob Cornilles to the U.S. House.
Oregon’s First Congressional District hasn’t been represented by a Republican in four decades, but with unemployment in Oregon at 9.1 percent, well above the national rate, people are ready for change. Oregon college students are particularly concerned about this race as graduation approaches and the job market continues to look grim.
College Republicans have mobilized on campuses in surrounding districts to set up call centers, recruit student volunteers and get out the vote for Cornilles. CRs at the University of Oregon, Eastern Oregon University and the University of Portland are taking advantage of the “Call from Home” program, which enables students to set up makeshift call centers, using their laptops and cell phones to contact potential voters.
While young voters typically lean to the left, this year they’re upset about the bad economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of August 2011 14.8 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 24 were unemployed. In August 2007, when Bush was still president, only 8.4 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds were unemployed.
Democrats in Congress have continued to support President Obama’s job-killing policies and out-of-control spending. Young people in college who are planning their futures and preparing to enter the job market are realizing that the left-wing policies coming out of the White House and Congress will likely leave them jobless and in more debt than they already are. Cornilles’s opponent, Democrat Suzanne Bonamici, shares many of President Obama’s and congressional Democrats’ big-government, big-spending ideas.
College Republicans across the nation have clocked countless hours recruiting volunteers, phone-banking and stumping for Republican candidates. We’ve seen their efforts pay off in races across the nation and are confident they will impact Rob Cornilles’s race for Oregon’s First Congressional District.
Alex Schriver is the national chairman of the College Republican National Committee, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most active youth political organization. The independent 527 group is more than 120 years old and boasts more than 250,000 members on over 1,800 campuses.