Erin McNemar

Managing Executive Editor

Ever since presidential hopefuls began announcing their campaigns earlier this year, Keene State College has been visited by nearly ten candidates. I constantly tell my family and friends just how lucky I am to be attending college in New Hampshire during this exciting time in politics.

Our school has access to something that many of us take for granted. It seems like weekly we find out another candidate is coming to visit and is eager to talk to students about the issues that matter to them. While many students have become cynical towards politics and want nothing to do with the process, I view these visits as amazing opportunities.

For starters, the idea that you could be seeing the future President of the United States speak at your school is such a cool concept. Not only does the candidate want to tell you where they stand on important issues, but they want to hear from you too. Candidates realize that college students and young voters are the future of America. According to the Pew Research Center, in the 2018 Midterm Elections Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z outnumbered Baby Boomers at the polls for the first time in history. Presidential candidates want to hear from young voters and find out what issues are important to them.

While candidates tend to visit lots of colleges with the hope of securing the young vote, at Keene State College we have two other advantages going for us. New Hampshire has the first primary in the country and is also a battleground state.

According to 270towin.com, in the last ten elections New Hampshire has gone Republician four times and Democratic six. In the most recent Presidential election in 2016, the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton only won the state by 0.4 percent. Although New Hampshire only has four electoral votes, it has the potential to make a huge difference for candidates trying to hit the 270 mark to win.

So why is it so important for students to attend candidate events? Because we have a lot of power to change the things we dislike. If you are one of those students that has lost faith in politics, tell these candidates what changes you want to see.

Your vote carries a lot of weight for them, and if these candidates are running smart campaigns they will take what you say to heart. We are the generation that cares about safety, the environment and equal opportunity. Let these candidates know that. It’s easy to complain about the issues and not do anything about it. But if you want to see structural change in our country, you have to fight for that. And what better and easier way than to tell the candidates that are coming to us inquiring that very information?

If you don’t know where you stand in the political realm, attending a candidate event is a great way to figure that out. Listen to what they are saying and think about how it makes you feel. Do you agree or not? Becoming an informed voter is not as hard as it seems. All it takes is a little research and seeing the candidate speak is a great way to start.

Erin McNemar can be contacted at emcnemar@kscequinox.com