Several University students made the trek to Charlotte, N.C. this week to participate in the Democratic National Convention and show their support for President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

LSA sophomore Daniel Elkus attended the convention as a delegate from Michigan’s 9th district. Elkus said he tries to be as politically involved as possible to represent the interests of the campus groups he participates in, including the University’s chapter of College Democrats, the American Civil Liberties Union, Hillel and the United Cerebral Palsy of Metropolitan Detroit.

Of the numerous speakers, he said former President Bill Clinton — who gave a fervent address urging Obama’s re-election — and Bob King, president of United Auto Workers, were particularly impressive.

“Bill Clinton gave an excellent speech about the future of the nation … and showed it is impossible to govern under Republicans,” Elkus said.

LSA junior Jacob Light also referenced Clinton’s speech as one of the convention highlights.

“Bill Clinton delivered an incredible speech that tore apart the Republican argument from last week,” Light said. “You couldn’t help but be excited and enthused as he delivered the speech of the night.”

Light compared the convention’s excited mood to the enthusiastic support Obama garnered at the 2008 convention.

Recent polling data indicates the November election will be a close race, Political Science Prof. Michael Heaney said. He added that he expects the youth vote to be a determining factor in the election’s outcome.

“The polls show it’s basically an even race,” said Heaney. “Very few people are undecided. The trick is getting the few that wouldn’t participate, to participate.”

Light said he attended the convention to continue fostering student support for Obama, noting that the student voice is increasingly important this year.

“I thought it was really important to go, to show that young people really support the President and the work he’s doing for us,” Light said.

Elkus said he will be voting for the Obama-Biden ticket based on the pair’s track record.

“I’m voting Democrat and for Obama because of what he has done to improve the life of the average American,” Elkus said.

Specifically, Elkus cited the Affordable Care Act — the comprehensive health care reform plan passed under Obama in March 2010 — as a transformative piece of legislature.

“Obama has done so much for people like myself with cerebral palsy by passing the Affordable Care Act and eliminating pre-existing conditions,” Elkus said. “As a delegate, I see myself as a voice for the disability community whose worlds would be turned upside down by the Romney-Ryan plan.”

Light said he will cast his presidential vote Democratic not only because of what his administration has accomplished the past four years, but because of the strength of the convention’s message.

“This convention has marked the Democrats going on the offensive … we have the direction for the future and for the next four years,” Light said. “It’s really the future that we are electing (Obama) for.”

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