SANDUSKY, Ohio – Barack Obama’s presidential campaign had so many volunteers working in Toledo last week that it told the University’s chapter of Students for Obama not to go there.
LSA sophomore Tom Duvall, the chair of the group, had planned to spend his last day of spring break with three other Obama supporters from the University canvassing for the Illinois senator in Toledo for Tuesday’s primary.
But because of an overwhelming number of volunteers from Michigan at the Toledo office the University’s chapter of Students for Obama was sent to Sandusky instead.
There, the four knocked on 250 doors, chipping away at the Obama campaign’s goal of reaching 1 million homes in the state of Ohio.
Duvall said he was just fine with being redirected to Sandusky. He and other members of the group are relishing the opportunity to campaign in such an important state – especially because the Obama campaign didn’t campaign in Michigan. After Michigan went against Democratic Party rules by moving its primary date before Feb. 5, the state was stripped of its delegates and candidates were forbidden from campaigning.
Duvall said that made his group want to volunteer in Ohio even more.
“It’s become a lot more clear when Hillary Clinton’s own campaign surrogates have gone on TV talking about how they need to win both Ohio and Texas,” Duvall said. “It makes every effort from Michigan even more important.”
Members of the University’s chapter of Students for Hillary said the group did not have plans to canvass in Ohio. Students for Hillary chair Kelly Bernero, an LSA sophomore, could not be reached for comment.
The Obama campaign organized charter buses to take Michigan volunteers to Ohio over the weekend. Two buses are scheduled to take volunteers to Cleveland and Columbus tomorrow.
Five students from Aquinas College, a school in Grand Rapids, drove to Sandusky to canvass yesterday. Tim Ramsay, a senior at Aquinas and former president of the school’s chapter of College Democrats, said he wanted to be involved in a campaign he found inspiring, even if it meant driving to another state.
“Barack Obama is the person for the job,” Ramsay said. “Ohio is only three hours away, so we decided to come down to work our butts off and get him elected.”
Ramsay said the decision to move the Michigan primary up was “not in the best interests of the party or the country” because it split Democratic votes that he said would have gone to Obama under normal circumstances.
“I understand why the party decided to move up our primary,” Ramsay said. “Michigan is the state that’s feeling the pain of the economy, and we should have a voice.”
If this race remains tight beyond tomorrow – Obama currently leads Hillary Clinton 1,336 delegates to 1,251, according to The Associated Press count – Michigan voters may get the opportunity to hold a caucus.
Obama supporters from Michigan think the state should have another contest if neither candidate has won the 2,025 delegates necessary to clinch the party’s nomination.
“I really do think we should have another caucus and have a real campaign,” Ramsay said.