Political Research At Convention

TAMPA, Fla. — Representing the political science department of Kennesaw State Univeristy, three students were elected to participate in undergraduate research at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

By Chase Duvall

Under the supervision of Dr. Kerwin Swint, professor of political science at Kennesaw State, students Kyle Chappell, 22, Chase Duvall, 21, and Weston Slaton, 22, are will be conducting individual research pertaining to the Georgia delegates and government officials participating in the convention’s activities.

All three students first became interested in participating in the convention trip through class lectures or through mass e-mail.

“ I was in Dr. Swint’s campaign and elections class and I was very interested when he mentioned the possibility of going to the national convention” said Chappell. “I filled out the application by the end of the week and here I am.”

Preparing for the primary research took time and preparation. Before leaving for Tampa, all three students met with Swint to make sure all materials and reading materials were ready for the research ahead.

Duvall’s research focuses on the delegation experience and exploring the meaning of being a delegate at the convention. Focusing on social media, Weston is researching how delegates use Twitter as a communication tool. Looking at the values within the party, Chappell is identifying delegate ideologies within the Republican Party and what these beliefs could mean.

All materials including laptops, survey research, books and a blackberry playbook were brought on the trip in order to conduct the necessary research.

Students Chappell, Duvall, and Slaton created surveys to best gather their information in a fast and organized manner. Doing so, they can gather their individual analysis of their research in a fast and organized manner. However, conducting research under regulated conditions such as the conventions creates many challenges.

“It is the hardest,” said Duvall. “We have to time it right when we give out our surveys.”

After all qualitative data is gathered and the convention experience is over, all three students are to write a 20-page paper on the research found pertaining to the findings that were acquired from the delegates. Very little content of the paper is to express the details of their time and experiences at the Republican Convention said Slaton.

During their time at the convention, all three students had the chance to meet exciting Georgia delegates and experience the many wonders that Tampa has to offer. Their most memorable moment was the week’s reception where delegates gathered in support of the Republican Party.

“We meat so many influential people,” said Duvall. It was very nice and a great networking opportunity.”

After witnessing many events at different convention centers, all three students can agree at the convention’s end will bring Republicans closer together and help give Mitt Romney the support he needs for this years election.

“I’m really excited to see what the polls have to say,” said Chappell. “I expect to see a huge jump in Romney support and it’s really great to see the massive amounts of support for Romney.”


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