Upstairs in a building off College Avenue sits one of Romney’s Victory Offices. Phones and paper litter the tables from a recent phone bank, and Romney/Ryan posters take up every wall in the space. It is the closest campaign office to a college campus in the state of Virginia, and yet many people have no idea it’s there.
Down the street on North Main, the Obama for America office is equally hard at work. Volunteers ranging from young adults to senior citizens are making phone calls. A giant whiteboard with various facts, numbers, and dates takes up the far wall.
With both of these campaign centers within walking distance to campus, the importance of these offices is recruiting young voters and volunteers to get out and spread the word in favor of their candidate of choice.
Dan Crawford, a regional press secretary for Obama, recognizes how important the Virginia Tech students are to the campaign.
“Our office in Blacksburg is a hub of volunteer activity for Hokies and the Blacksburg community,” Crawford said. “With so much enthusiasm about the election, volunteers will be working from now to November to engage students, make sure they’re registered to vote and get them to the polls.”
In an Associated Press-GfK poll released recently, 54 percent of registered voters under 35 said they would vote for Obama, compared to 38 percent for Romney.
However, the Romney campaign isn’t conceding the young American vote yet. In fact, they’re reaching record-breaking numbers of young voters every day.
“Our ‘Young Americans for Romney’ coalition effort will be the biggest GOP youth outreach effort in Virginia history, reaching at least 10,000 young Virginians each week, while our general get-out-the-vote effort reaches even more,” said Curt Cashour, Virginia Communications Director for the Romney campaign.
Reaching students at Tech isn’t the only thing these major campaign offices are trying to do. They’re also trying to bring the big issues to student’s attention: jobs, the economy and the affordability of college.
Andrew Whitley is a sophomore political science major, and the president of Students for Obama at Virginia Tech. He said he's sad to see so many students apathetic about this election.
“The election is not really cared about. One of my goals is trying to take the election, and show them how the president has affected them,” Whitley said.