|The College Republicans have new digs to plot their return to the White House, and horse around.|
By Sarah Valerio
WASHINGTON, D.C. - “I think they did it just to provoke Occupy Wall Street,” quipped Daily Caller editor Jamie Weinstein. He was joking about the recent relocation of the College Republican National Committee offices to 1500 K Street, juxtapositioned right across the street from the Occupy encampment at McPherson Square.
|Photo by Sara Valerio |
The College Republicans crew: Communications
Director Alyssa Farah. Chairman Alex Schriver
and Executive Director Michael Antonopoulos.
Recently the College Republicans threw a private reception in their new offices attended by staffers, state chairs, conservative journalists and friends of the organization.
Guests entered through etched glass doors which bore the CRNC name and trademark elephant logo, and were treated to hors d’oeuvres and refreshments and invited to explore the spacious new digs.
“It’s double the space,” boasted CRNC National Chairman Alex Schriver, beaming as he cast his gaze around the room. “It’s a great location and space – the total package.”
“We needed more space," argued Michael Antonopoulos, CRNC's executive director. "The organization has more than doubled in the last five years and we’re still expanding for the election."
“We’re raising more money and seeing a revival of the conservative movement. There’s a lot of excitement this election cycle,” he added, citing the physical office expansion as a response to a rising demand on the organization.
“If Alex [Schriver] can show the same kind of judgment used in picking furniture and carpets for the new office, I can’t wait to watch the 60 paid staff field program rolled out across the country,” said Alex Skatell, media director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
“President Obama won the youth vote 66-32 in ’08. It’s a demographic Republicans have to do better with and we’re a catalyst for it,” said Schriver. “We’re here because we inherently understand the importance of the youth vote. We have to return that demographic back to the conservative movement.
“If the youth find time at all to vote that’s great, but I’m not very optimistic,” added Weinstein, who was in attendance at the event.
|Photo by Sarah Valerio.|
Daily Caller writers and editors Sarah Hofmann,
Jamie Weinstein, Alex Pappas and Betsi Fores.
If recent polls are any indication, Weinstein is right and CRNC has their work cut out for them. A poll released April 17 by Public Policy Polling showed Obama leading Mitt Romney 72-17 with young voters in Colorado, and 69-21 in Florida; both swing states.
Republican strategist and former McCain / Palin presidential campaign adviser Ford O’Connell also recognized the importance of the youth vote and sees potential for Romney with that voting bloc. “If Romney is going to win the White House he will need to win over young voters who feel disenfranchised by Obama’s policies, particularly in the battleground states of North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Florida.”
O’Connell said that one way Romney is attempting to make inroads is by going so far as supporting Obama on some issues. “Romney is lending support to Obama's student loan proposal precisely because he wants young voters to know that he understands their problems.”
CRNC sees their professional new office located in the heart of the lobbying world on K street as the physical manifestation of a revamped, coordinated effort to grow conservative influence by targeting the youth vote.
“It’s a great chance to professionalize and revolutionize the organization,” Schriver said.
The College Republicans is the oldest political youth organization in the United States, with over 250,000 members across 1,800 campuses nationwide.