Trump campaigns in N.C. Can he win students’ votes?

Originally published on Carolina Connection

This story originally aired on September 14, 2019, on 97.9 WCHL “The Hill”

Jackson: Inside the Crown Expo Center in Fayetteville on September 9, . President Donald Trump held a rally in support of Republican House of Representatives candidate Dan Bishop for an election that was seen as a bellwether for the 2020 elections.

Trump: “ Tomorrow, you’ll head to the polls to elect a congressman who always puts America first Dan bishop.”

Jackson: The following day, Bishop won the special election by 2 percentage points. However, Trump won the same district by 12 percentage points in 2016. Voter turnout was low in the 9th district.  About a third of registered voters voted in the special election compared to over half that voted in 2016 and that doesn’t offer a lot of insight into 2020. While Republicans won this election, President Trump acknowledged in his speech that his party is still at risk of defeat in the next elections

Trump: “ And that’s really why I consider this election look, we had a very, very special day in 2016….. But I can say this 2020 is essentially just as important, because they’ll try and take it away. 

Jackson: Trump Campaign Spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEany, said that the key to 2020 may be millenials and college age voters and that it could be seen during this special election.  

McEany: “ Millennials are not only going to be the most eligible vote voting population, but they could be the most actual voting population, which means that millennials turning out is important for the President. That being said, I would also add that, you know, our volunteer base, we have a lot of millennials, they tend to be energized, focused, ready to help when a campaign.”

Jackson: The Chairman of the UNC College Republicans, Joseph Buckner, says that Trump’s efforts to win over younger voters appears to be working.

Buckner: “I mean, you look with UNC College Republicans, I think I had 200, fresh, around 200, freshmen sign up on our email list, this time at fall fest compared to that 100 last year…I think we’re moving in the right direction. And I think that the RNC is working on it. 

Jackson: While the Trump campaign seeks to gain votes from college age students they are actually the smallest and least likely age group to vote. According to Pew Research, voters age 18-29 made up 5 percent of registered voters in 2016 and of those, only 40 percent voted. Millenials on the other hand made up 27 percent of registered voters in 2016 and of those over 55 percent voted. Many political analysts hoped this special election would offer an insight into the 2020 election. However, it has left more questions than answers. In Chapel Hill, I’m Jackson Lanier.

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