SALEM N.H. and KEENE N.H.--With recent polls showing Bill Bradley and Vice President Al Gore '69 running neck and neck in New Hampshire, Harvard Democrats hit the campaign trail this weekend, canvassing the back roads of New Hampshire to drum up support for their candidates.
Around 15 Bradley supporters rose early Saturday to ride to Salem, N.H. with other local Bradley enthusiasts. They rendezvoused with New Hampshire campaign coordinators in a school parking lot, where they donned Bradley stickers and were assigned walking routes.
Then yesterday, over 20 students gathered at 7:30 a.m. to make the two-hour trip to Keene, N.H. to campaign for Gore and see him speak.
In New Hampshire, the first primary state in the nation, door to door campaigning has an "almost mystical" significance, according to Shaun Kelleher, the Bradley campaign's New England college coordinator.
"It's the key to New Hampshire politics," Kelleher said.
With both candidates devoting considerable energy to winning the state's primary--the nation's first--college students are the infantry in the battle for this crucial state. The Bradley campaign is calling the upcoming Columbus Day weekend "College weekend," and hoping to flood the state with young supporters.
And last week, in an effort to build support among New England college students, Bradley spoke at MIT, drawing over 1,000 students.
"Students are an incredibly important part of our campaign. We have a full-time college student coordinator," said Mo Elliethee, the Bradley campaign's New Hampshire Press Secretary. "I think the level of commitment this campaign has to reaching out to young people is unprecedented."
This weekend was the first time Harvard Students for Bradley sent students to New Hampshire. Bradley supporters distributed literature--"door knockers"--that contain a brief biography of their candidate to registered Democrats and Independents. Others worked "visibility," standing by the roadside with Bradley signs to hand out leaflets.
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