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College Democrats Continue Canvassing Strategy

By Derek G. Xiao, Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard College Democrats will continue focusing on consolidating Democratic gains both up and down the ballot in battleground states, according to president Susan X. Wang ’17.

At the national level, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary R. Clinton’s campaign is making a more ambitious effort in traditionally right-leaning states–a move that serves to both extend her lead over Trump and bolster down-ballot candidates locked in tighter races. Wang said that she did not see a need for the College Democrats to revise their canvassing and phone-banking strategy in response.

“Right now we’re still focusing on the states we’ve been hitting in the past,” Wang said, mentioning New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. “They’re the states we know best, and that’s where we see our role.”

FiveThirtyEight, a website known for election predictions, currently gives Democratic nominee Hillary R. Clinton a 85.4 percent chance of winning the presidential race, compared to 14.6 percent for Trump. In contrast, Clinton’s edge over Trump a month ago was less than 10 percent—54.8 percent to 45.2 percent.

“It’s really exciting that [traditionally right-leaning states] are now up for grabs, but we’re trying to ensure that she locks down the states that she needs to win the election,” Wang said.

In an email sent out to past volunteers encouraging them to join the Democrats’ efforts, Sharon Yang ’18, the vice president of the Democrats and an inactive Crimson editor, wrote, “We’re working hard to not just elect the first female President, but to take back the Senate and maybe even win the House.”

Wang said the Harvard Democrats are focusing on tight races such as Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan’s contest with incumbent U.S. senator Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Democratic congressional candidate Emily Cain’s race against U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.

The College Democrats plan to canvass in New Hampshire on Oct. 29. In addition, they will conduct “get-out-to-vote” efforts on Nov. 5 and 6 in New Hampshire and Maine, the weekend before Election Day.

On Election Day, the club plans to have students canvassing in New Hampshire, phone banking on campus, and encouraging Harvard students to vote.

—Staff writer Derek G. Xiao can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @derekgxiao.

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