By Rachel Stevens
College Democrats hosted a democratic debate watch party on Thursday September 12 in Aquinas 108, bringing together a lecture hall full of students to eat pizza and engage in discussion with one another about their thoughts during the third debate.
It is no secret that Catholic University is a politically active campus. Both College Democrats and Republicans have hosted successful watch parties in the past, and this year’s party was another great turnout for College Democrats.
There were a “surprising number of freshmen who came,” said College Democrats Vice President and senior politics major, Tommy Gambino.
This could indicate an increase in political engagement within the class of 2023 compared to other current undergraduate classes. Most attendees identified as a Democrat, but there were still a handful of Republican and Independent students present.
To kick off the party they ate Pizza Boli’s, a local favorite takeout spot amongst the Catholic U community.
Over 100 students attended the first College Democrats club meeting this month for the 2019-20 academic year. The executive board members are happy to see an increase in attendance and hope that there continues to be a growing interest in College Democrats at Catholic.
This meeting’s attendance was a “sharp increase”from last year, Gambino said.
College Democrats took advantage of the high attendance and polled attendees at the first meeting on their favorite democratic candidates for the 2020 Presidential election. The results were revealed at the watch party.
“Our results showed that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was definitely the crowd favorite,”Gambino said.
Other closely favored candidates second to Warren were former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke and former Vice President Joe Biden, which is not far off from national polls.
A recent CBS News poll indicates that the leading candidates are Biden, Sanders, and Warren. It appears that the opinions of Catholic University Democrats align with these results fairly well.
Through the commercial breaks, executive board members asked people in the audience how they felt about the debate so far and their favorite statements that were made by candidates.
“What is nice about Catholic U College Democrats is that we are all about being a big tent. We had progressives, moderates, and even Republicans show up to watch the debate and even debate each other. The Democratic primaries are intense and at times exhausting, but the energy I saw and the passion our members had in that room that night would give all those running and total run for their money,” said Regina Brennan, a junior politics major and events director for College Democrats.
As the 2020 Presidential election approaches, College Democrats hope to keep hosting relevant events that help members stay informed and excited about the democratic party’s campaigns this political season through events and bonding activities this year. Recently, College Democrats have invited speakers like New York Representative Grace Meng and have gone monumenting together as a group on the National Mall.
Stay tuned for more events coming up from the various political organizations at Catholic U during this election season.