As part of a lecture series titled “South Carolina, Party Politics & the 2016 Elections,” the Presbyterian College Political Science Department recently sponsored visits from three state-wide political party leaders. Matt Moore, chair of the S.C. Republican Party, gave an on-campus lecture on Thursday, Sept. 10; and Jason Perkey, executive director, and Jessica Church, political director, of the S.C. Democratic Party spoke on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Within his role as chair of the S.C. Republican Party, Moore’s responsibilities are threefold: help the Republican Party win; act as an ambassador for his Party; and promote the Republican Party vision. In his lecture, Moore focused on the present state of the Republican Party, as well as its immediate and long-term goals, citing the need for the Party to target Hispanics and young people in order to win future elections.
He suggested that the Republican Party is continually becoming more dependent on the ever-growing popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat in an attempt to reach voters under the age of 30. Moore concluded that the Republican Party is being intentional in its campaigning, so “it’s looking more like a Republican will win in 2016 every day.”
In their lecture concerning the S.C. Democratic Party, Perkey and Church sought to answer three questions, asking what the Democratic Party should strive to stop, what it should keep doing but do better, and what it should start doing.
In terms of what the Democratic Party should strive to stop, Perkey and Church listed pollution, gun violence, and widespread disagreement about politics as three major issues. They specified medical research, political discussion, and educating people as three areas in which the Democratic Party can improve its efforts, and they mentioned public education, free healthcare, and equality income as efforts that the Party should begin to address. In this manner, Perkey and Church emphasized the way in which the Democratic Party intends to win elections by hearing and reacting accordingly to voter concerns.
As the American public continues to immerse itself in political discussion and debate with the 2016 presidential election right around the corner, both of these lectures occurred at a fitting time, allowing students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the plans and proceedings of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party within South Carolina.
Written by Erika Gotfredson, a senior English major from Duluth, Ga.