Had a tour yesterday of the Federal HQ of the US College Republicans and lunch with their Chairman, Eric Hoplin, whom is on the IYDU Executive with me.
It is tempting to think of the College Republicans as the Young Nationals, only larger, but the two organisation are really beyond comparison.
Under Eric’s leadership, the organisation has gone from a handful of staff to 75 employees. It has major influence, with Karl Rove and Grover Norquist (head of Americans for Tax Reform) both being former office holders in it.
On the Republican side of politics, they are the second largest 527 organisation in terms of funding and donations with well over NZ$10 million in campaign funds.
Apart from all their serious work amongst young voters, they also are responsible for making sure that no matter where Kerry speaks in the US, there are some people dressed up as flip flop jandals at every street corner 🙂
In the last two months, the youth vote has gone strongly to Bush, giving him the rare position of a centre right candidate to lead amongst both women and youth.
At the end of July Kerry led Bush amongst under 30s by around 25%. Bush now leads by around 12%, being 53% to 41%. Thius makes young people Kerry’s worst age demographic.