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College Democrats organize as elections approach while other groups sit it out

A colorful sign that says "vote here" in all capital letters.
A sign outside a Princeton voting station.
Lia Opperman / The Daily Princetonian

On a campus often described as apathetic, the Princeton College Democrats were momentarily stirred to action by state elections, which took place on Nov. 7.

The Daily Princetonian spoke with the Princeton College Democrats and the Princeton chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA). Princeton College Republicans, the Princeton Pro-Life Society and Princeton Students for Reproductive Justice (PSRJ) did not respond to a request for comment from the ‘Prince.’ 


PSRJ, however, posted on their Instagram that on Nov. 2, members made over 1,000 calls during a phone-banking event hosted in conjunction with Planned Parenthood NJ. Princeton College Republicans and the Princeton Pro-Life Society did not host ’get out the vote’ programming.

Nate Howard ’25, co-president of the Princeton College Democrats, emphasized the importance of on-campus engagement. “We are the largest group on campus that engages in electoral campaigns … students should get involved!” he wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’

Howard listed a variety of campaign-related activities that the College Democrats undertook in preparation for the election in a written statement to the ‘Prince.’ 

He wrote that the group participated in four canvass efforts this semester, where they “knocked [on] over 1,000 doors!” One of the canvassing events included working with students from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) and Rutgers University.

In recent months, College Democrats volunteered at canvassing events with Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.-05), former Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.-07), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.-06), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). After canvassing, they attended a rally held by Booker off-campus.

Of the candidates up for election in New Jersey, Howard mentioned state Senator Andrew Zwicker, Assemblyman Roy Freiman, and Assemblywoman-elect Mitchelle Drulis as candidates that the College Democrats have supported. He wrote that these candidates “are strong supporters of unions, will protect abortion rights, and fight back against anti-LGBTQ+ extremism,” all of which he noted as some of the values of the College Democrats. He added that Mercer County Executive Candidate Dan Benson “also shares [their] values and is a committed public servant who will do a great job.”


Howard noted that each of these candidates are “super accessible.” He said that “Zwicker and Benson spoke to us on campus,” adding that “we’ve heard from the other ones at some of our canvassing rallies.”

At the beginning of the academic year, the group did “one non-partisan letter writing session to voters in Virginia encouraging [residents] to vote”  Since, they “have since focused on [the] elections here in N.J.,” according to Howard.

On the other hand, Abe Jacobs ’26, who is co-chair of the YDSA, did not mention any significant canvassing or get out the vote efforts undertaken by YDSA in his written statement to the ‘Prince.’ Instead, he said the group has focused on campus conversation and research.

“With state elections quickly approaching, we are collaborating with the North Jersey Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) chapter in researching power dynamics, infrastructure, and candidates for an upcoming political education campaign,” Jacobs wrote.

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Jacobs wrote that “students engage with politics on a whole new level when we can have notable political intellectuals speak on campus. He described a “tremendous turnout” for a YDSA-event hosting Noam Chomsky last year, and mentioned that “McCosh 10 [was] completely packed” with the visit of Cornel West last week. 

Victoria Davies is a News contributor for the ‘Prince.’

Please send any corrections to corrections[at]

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the College Democrats partook in two canvassing efforts. In fact, they took part in four.