Cyclones for O’Malley rally in Ames

Shannon Mccarty

Cyclones for Martin O’Malley gathered at Stomping Grounds to encourage students to caucus for the former Maryland governor, and to come back on Saturday to attend a meet and greet with the presidential candidate.  

O’Malley announced his candidacy back in May, and is one of five 2016 presidential candidates for the Democratic party.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been the frontrunner for Democrats in various polls with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in second.  

The event was one of thirty statewide house parties in support of O’Malley. The focus of the meetings was the candidate’s 15 goals to rebuild the American dream.

Although O’Malley was not present, he called into the 30 parties to encourage supporters to attend the caucus, and to thank them for helping his campaign.

“Together we can pursue the rebuilding of the American Dream,” O’Malley said.

Some of O’Malley’s goals to help rebuild the American dream include reform the criminal justice system, ensure college students can graduate debt free within five years and to cut youth unemployment by 50 percent in three years.

Evan Abramsky, junior in political science, hosted the event. Abramsky is the president of Cyclones for Martin O’Malley.

Abramsky said he was originally a Sanders supporter, but after working for his campaign for about two weeks he changed his mind.

“He was making a lot of promises,” Abramsky said.

Abramsky said Sanders’s didn’t have any plans to fulfill his promises, and his plans were unrealistic.

“Students need to really think about who they’re voting for,” Abramsky said.

He said O’Malley’s goals on education are much more feasible than Sanders proposal for free college. Abramsky is confident once the caucus and election get closer students will become more and more involved.

“We got six months till the caucus and more than a year till the election,” Abramsky said.

College students have been known to not show up at voting booths. According to The Center for Information and Research Civic Learning Engagement (CIRCLE), 50% of young people between the ages of 18-29 voted in the 2012 election.

“A lot of students also think that their vote doesn’t matter,” said Abramsky.

The president of Cyclones for O’Malley said once students get to know O’Malley better they will realize he is in it for college students.

As for Clinton, Abramsky said she hasn’t been as loyal to liberal and progressive movements.

“I don’t think she is as a sincere candidate,” Abramsky said.  

Since announcing his campaign, O’Malley has built up a staff of paid and volunteer organizers around the country, including many in Iowa.

Despite his organizing efforts, his poll numbers remain low compared to other Democrats. Nationally, he averages around 1 percent support according to an average of polls by Real Clear Politics. In Iowa, his numbers are slightly higher – around 5 percent – but well behind Clinton and Sanders.

O’Malley will be back in Iowa this weekend for several events, including a meet and greet for Iowa State students in Ames. He will be at Stomping Grounds Coffee at 7:00 p.m. Those who wish to attend should RSVP at 

O’Malley will also take part in an immigration forum Saturday at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake and hold a meet and greet in Sheldon. On Sunday, he will hold meet and greets at the University of Iowa and Grinnell College.