UVU Millennials for Bernie Sanders hold phone banking campaign

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UVU Millennials for Bernie Sander’s hosted an event on January 13 at UVU where those in attendance participated in phone banking to advocate for the Sanders campaign.

The purpose of this phone banking session was to gather demographic data by calling lists of people who had voted for a democratic presidential candidate in a previous election, and to secure their vote for Sanders.

“Most of the numbers will be disconnected or wrong numbers,” said Sam Grenny, a University of Utah student and member of Utah Millennials for Bernie Sanders.

By filtering through the lists of people, the volunteers will help to improve the quality of voter data for Sanders’ staff to use in their marketing campaigns.

“Focus on the yesses,” said Andrew Brown, the president of UVU Millennials for Bernie Sanders. “This is good for the campaign too, to know which numbers don’t work.”

With the upcoming presidential primaries, the phone banking was also an opportunity for the Sanders supporters to spread awareness about his political ideology.

“He has a consistent record of standing up for the working class,” said Grenny, over the phone to a New Hampshire resident.

A recent survey administered by The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, and Marist Poll showed Sanders with a four-percentage-point lead in New Hampshire, and the results of a Quinnipiac University’s showed that 49 percent of Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa are planning to back Sanders in the election.

Despite such results, the stigmatization that surrounds Sanders as a self-proclaimed socialist may dissuade many conservative voters from considering him a realistic candidate.

“I’m still leaning towards Marco Rubio. It’s only when I’m frustrated and angry at Obama and pretty much everyone in Washington that I can see myself voting for Trump. I like Rubio, because although he is intrinsically conservative, I feel like he has shown he would be willing to work with others in Washington,” said BYU student Kelsie Christensen. “I won’t vote for Sanders because I don’t believe socialism is the best way to govern.”

Sanders has appealed to the progressive populations by focusing on environmental, social, and cultural issues such as income inequality, over-priced tuition at public universities and global warming.

But critics of Sanders question the stability of his economic plan for funding free college tuition along with questioning his ability to get left-leaning policies passed through a majority Republican congress.

“One of the most important traits I look for in a potential president is not how conservative or liberal they are on key issues, but whether or not he or she has enough humility and wisdom to be able to work on both sides of the aisle,” said Christensen.