Obama’s got the college vote locked down? Eddie Souther says, think again.
The 20-year-old North Carolinan has been running a Political Action Committee (PAC) for the past few months called the Collegiate Informed Voters of North Carolina. The PAC’s mission is to reach out to young Republicans in the area and get them to vote Republican this November.
Souther’s group was recently mentioned in the New York Times in a piece about young conservatives and their shifting social values. According to the article, young conservatives are more supportive of issues like same-sex marriage, unlike the older cohort of the Republican party.
“Look, it’s okay if we agree on 80 percent of the issues, we can work on the other 20 percent. We’re not going to worry about the 20 percent and risk losing this election, and not come together… If we don’t have jobs, we can’t talk about abortion. If we don’t have jobs, we can’t talk about gay marriage,” said Souther.
When the group launched in June, it had six members. Now, it has 30. Students will soon be arriving on college campuses, and the PAC will kick into high gear and start meeting once a week until election day.
“This election we’re going to make sure [Obama] does not have the youth vote in North Carolina. The youth vote will be turning towards Romney because our tuition has gone up in North Carolina because of Democratic policies,” said Souther.
Although the majority of students tend to lean liberal, and gave President Obama large support in 2008, Souther believes that young people feel peer pressure to vote Democratically. “But that’s one thing we’re trying to combat — not everyone has to vote Democratic just because the president says he has your vote. We have to be voting in our interests, and not with all the propaganda and the media. We’re seeing a lot of progress with college groups, and we’re definitely going to be a bigger force than we were in 2008,” said Souther.