Paul wins students’ support at St. John’s Episcopal


Photo by: Grace Steenhagen/Iowa State Daily

Michael Zimmerman, a Ron Paul supporter, finishes his registration on Tuesday, Jan. 3. The Republican caucus at St. John’s by the Campus pronounced Ron Paul as the winner by a large majority and Rick Santorum in second, with only a few votes for Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich.

Ian Laughead

A crowded fellowship hall put its support behind libertarian Ron Paul in a large way Tuesday night at St. John’s by the Campus on Lincoln Way.

With 36 out of 47 ballots cast for the libertarian candidate, young people made their support for Paul clear.

While several adult caucus attendees said they felt flexible in their choice of candidates for the Republican nomination, most students and young people vocally supported Paul.

“I want Ron Paul,” said Bethany Drury, senior in biology.

Drury brought several of her friends along to the caucus, hoping her enthusiasm would catch on.

Drury and her group of friends uniformly said they were unimpressed with Michele Bachmann’s attitude during debates and speeches.

“She just doesn’t seem like a polite person,” said Matt Schlue, senior in management information systems.

Schlue said he came to the caucus undecided, but like many of his peers, he seemed well-informed on the race, iPad in hand.

Most students attending the St. John’s caucus location said they knew candidates’ views well and followed the race closely. Bachmann’s platform wasn’t the only campaign students felt strongly about.

“I thought Rick Perry’s ‘Stronger’ ad was disrespectful,” said Nolan Budweg, junior in biology. “I’m a gay service member, and I felt he targeted me.”

Budweg approved of Paul’s campaign and his relatively favorable stance on gay rights among Republican candidates.

Many expressed similar support for Paul. Among them was Brendan McGregor, an ISU alumnus, who has strongly advocated Paul’s campaign.

“He’s an idealist, and he’s principled. We need real solutions,” McGregor said.

McGregor motioned to the rest of the room, nearly half students or first-time caucus-goers.

“It’s cool to see young people at a Republican event,” McGregor said.