College Democrats hold phone bank to “dump Trump”


Brian DiPaolo, a junior history major, participates in the College Democrats phone campaign to sway voters away from Donald Trump on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 in the Kent State Student Center.

Mitch Felan

As part of their “Dump Trump Phone Bank,” the Kent State College Democrats took to their phones Tuesday night to encourage Portage County residents to not vote for the controversial Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The group met in the Student Center during their regularly-scheduled meeting time, where they collectively made nearly 600 phone calls and tried to dissuade local voters from voting for GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“I personally just think that Trump does not represent who we are as an American people,” said junior political science major Kathleen Moorman. “All he aims to do is tear people apart, and that’s not what this election should be about.”

Anthony Erhardt, a junior paralegal major and College Democrats membership director, elaborated on the opinion.

“He is a reality star clown who does not deserve to be anywhere near the White House … or any form of public office, for that matter,” Erhardt said.

The Ohio Democratic Party, who sponsored the event, provided the group with data on Democratic voters in the area and their phone numbers. While the College Democrats spent most of the night talking to voters about volunteering for the Ohio Democratic Party and other Democratic groups, the focus of the event was on Trump himself.

“This is a phone bank to make sure Trump isn’t elected … that’s the goal … the main goal,” College Democrats president and a sophomore public relations major Hana Barkowitz said in an opening address at the event.

The group held the event a few days after a new CNN/ORC Poll announced a 22-point lead for the candidate, with 41 percent of potential Republican voters supporting him. Many people in attendance expressed both their distaste for Trump and their fear of his possibility to become the GOP nominee for president this summer.

“I think it’s important that people take back the political process,” Moorman said. “It’s not a circus, it’s something to be taken seriously … and that’s why we’re doing this tonight.”

“The Donald (Donald Trump) might be the nominee and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen,” sophomore political science major and College Democrats treasurer Derek Hanlin said.  

But, according to several board members of the College Democrats, the event was also the group’s initiative to incorporate more activism into meetings.

“We want to have an activism base,” Barkowitz said. “Some people want to make calls, some people want to make letters, some people just want to come to meetings and make conversation. A lot of people want both and we want to provide that.”

“(The phone bank) is a unified event and it’s part of our initiative to be more of an activist organization,” Erhardt said. “There are loads and loads of Democrats, and, quite frankly, Republicans who want to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president of this country.”

As for whether the College Democrats’ attempt to “dump Trump” was successful, it’s still up for debate. While the group made close to 600 calls, each student only had a handful of successful attempts while talking to voters.

Most students said they only received a handful of confirmed Democratic volunteers and a few “maybes” from their lists.

Mitch Felan is a politics correspondent for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].